What Is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a national, nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. Founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller, Habitat seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat works with people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.
Habitat carries out its work though affiliates -- independent, locally run, nonprofit organizations community level groups. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area -- fund raising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction and mortgage servicing. Some affiliates also receive funding loans and grants from Habitat For Humanity International.
The Greene County Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate, which works solely within Greene County, Pennsylvania to improve housing standards and build stability in the community.
How Does the Habitat “No Profit” Housing Work?
Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (known as “partner”) families. We are able to keep these homes affordable through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials.
Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable mortgage loans. This means that Habitat makes no money from the sale of a house, and after they have paid their mortgage, our partner families own their own homes.
Habitat is not a “giveaway” program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor -- sweat equity -- into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
How Does the Partnership With Homeowners Work?
Habitat is not a “giveaway” program, but a partnership with those who we serve. Each homeowner family is required to invest a minimum of 250 hours of "sweat equity" into the construction of their home or the Habitat program. This allows homeowners to work along side other volunteers, increasing the pride of ownership among family members and fostering the development of positive relationships within a community.
How Are Would-Be Partner Families Selected?
Families in need of decent shelter apply directly to their local Habitat affiliate (That's us- The Greene County Habitat for Humanity). The affiliate’s family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their ability to repay the loan and their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat.
Affiliates follow a non-discriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families to become Habitat homeowners.
At Greene County Habitat for Humanity, we use a postcard mailing list to notify interested families when a house becomes available for the family selection process. If you would like to be added to this mailing list, please send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Can I Become a Volunteer?
Awesome! We can't wait for you to get started. To volunteer, fill out our online volunteer application form here and we'll help you get started.
How Else Can I Help?
Get involved! We always need more advocates to give a "voice" to those in need. You can volunteer for a Habitat "build" or volunteer your time in our office. Building homes isn't free; we are always willing to partner with individuals or groups who want to host a fundraiser to benefit our mission. We've got lots of ideas, just give us a call and we'd be happy to help you find a way to help us!
"Building decent houses in partnership with God's people in need"
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