Many, many people have heard about Habitat for Humanity. But what they do is worth repeating. In its own words, “Habitat for Humanity International builds, rehabilitates and repairs simple, decent houses with the help of homeowner families, volunteer labor, and donations of money and materials.” It is an international, non-governmental, and non-profit organization.
Habitat uses volunteer labor to construct simple and affordable homes. Those who apply for a home are put through a screening process and must show they are able financially to pay a mortgage. Although generally it’s a no-interest mortgage, having to pay for the home means the family in need must handle its money responsibly while receiving a boost but not charity.
Since it was founded in 1976, Habitat has helped more than 24,000 families build, rehabilitate or preserve a home in 23 countries in Europe and Central Asia. By some counts, Habitat has supported more than 4 million people.
According to its website, Habitat for Humanity is an “organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action worldwide.”
Currently, Habitat is still reconstructing permanent homes in the Visayas area of the Philippines, which was hit by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. According to the country’s government, 6,300 people were killed and more than 1 million homes were damaged or destroyed.
For more information on where Habitat for Humanity works and how you can partner in its mission, visit www.habitat.org