habitat for humanity international
The Greene County Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1985 by a group of citizens concerned about poverty housing in Greene County, PA. They became the second chapter of Habitat for Humanity International to be organized in the state of Pennsylvania. During this year, the affiliate hired the first Executive Director, a young woman from the Chicago area, who worked nearly full time, for the whopping salary of $50 a month.
The community has welcomed Greene County Habitat, and we have established a solid relationship with local businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, other non-profit organizations, churches and individuals. The organization is now so closely involved with the community that we host the Annual Rain Day Race, coinciding with the most important local holiday and town festival, Rain Day.
Greene County Habitat relies on volunteers to build its homes. Each year we host 12-15 volunteer work camps from outside the region. These groups consist of college students from outside the state, who participate in their campuses' alternative spring break programs, and numerous youth and adult groups from churches throughout the country, who join us in the summer to build homes as they focus on mission work. Weekly, during the school year, students from Waynesburg University assist us with construction and administrative projects.
Over the course of over 30 years, we have:
Additionally, we partnered with (ACI) Affordable Comfort, Inc., in a grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection, to increase the energy efficiency of our homes. As a result, we built the first ENERGY STAR® rated home in Southwestern PA. The energy efficient standards used in that house are now included in all our homes. The promotion and use of energy efficient home plans within the Habitat program of homebuilding, means that our families are able to save money on utilities, and can keep their families warm without "busting the budget". On a larger view, the systematic replacement of outdated inefficient dwellings with energy efficient structures translates into considerable energy conservation and less air pollution for the community.
"I see life as both a gift and as a responsibility.
My responsibility is to use what God has given me to help his people in need."
Millard Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity International. He travels and speaks worldwide, and has received international recognition for his work in advocating decent, affordable housing for all in the US, Asia and other parts of the world.
A graduate of Auburn University in Alabama and the University of Alabama Law School, he and a college friend began a marketing firm while still in school. Fuller's business expertise and entrepreneurial drive made him a millionaire at age 29. But as the business prospered, his health, integrity and marriage suffered. These crises prompted Fuller to re-evaluate his values and direction. His soul-searching led to reconciliation with his wife, Linda, and to a renewal of his Christian commitment.
The Fullers decided to sell their possessions to begin a poverty housing initiative that would eventually become Habitat for Humanity International. Their work started in a racial-reconciliation community located near Americus, Georgia. They built modest houses on a no-profit, no-interest basis, thus making homes affordable to families with low incomes. Important Habitat concepts were pioneered: sweat equity, where each family was expected to invest their own labor into the building of their home and the homes of other families; the revolving fund, where house loan re-payments were used to finance the building of even more homes.
The model was refined in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) where the Fullers and their four children worked in the early 1970s.
Fuller received the Medal of Freedom from former US President Clinton in September 1996, and was named the 1995 Builder of the Year by Professional Builder magazine. He and his wife were awarded the 1994 Harry S. Truman Public Service Award, and he also has received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. In December 2003, the Non-Profit Times of the US named him its "Executive of the Year". Fuller authored nine books about his life and work with Habitat for Humanity.
He left the organization in 2005, and passed away at the age of 74 in 2009. His leadership helped forge Habitat into the worldwide housing program it is today.
"Building decent houses in partnership with God's people in need"
greene county habitat for humanity
Founder of Habitat for Humanity International