So, who here believes Habitat for Humanity was started by President Jimmy Carter and his lovely wife Roslyn? Let's see a show of hands. Great, that's what we are doing today, debunking myths and facts about Habitat for Humanity.
First, how Habitat for Humanity came about: The idea that became Habitat for Humanity first grew from the fertile soil of Koinonia Farm, a community farm outside of Americus, Georgia, founded by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan.On the farm, Jordan and Habitat’s eventual founders Millard and Linda Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. The houses would be built at no profit. New homeowners’ house payments would be combined with no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fundraising to create “The Fund for Humanity,” which would then be used to build more homes.
Second myth, the houses are just given to the families. Each Partner family is just that...a partner. They work side by side with our volunteers to build their homes. In fact, at the North Platte Area Habitat for Humanity affiliate, they must complete 400 hours of Sweat Equity time prior to dedication day. The hours are divided up between education classes and the physical work of building the home.
Third myth, the houses are free to the families. In fact, the homeowners do pay an interest free mortgage as well as insurance and property taxes. The funds collected from these mortgages are used, in conjunction with grants and donations, to build future houses.
Fourth myth, the homeowner receives free furniture for their homes. No, they bring their own furniture to the house. Habitat for Humanity does not provide furniture. Whirlpool does donate a refrigerator and a stove to every Habitat for Humanity house built through the world but no other furnishings are provided.
These are just a few of the misconceptions and myths we've heard recently about Habitat for Humanity. If you have any questions about Habitat for Humanity or how it works, please feel free to contact our office. We'd love to hear from you.