History of Habitat
From a humble start in rural Georgia, to an international organization operating in 70+ countries worldwide, Habitat for Humanity has helped millions of families across the globe.
Where it began
The year was 1976 in Americus, Georgia. Clarence Jordan, a biblical scholar and famer founded a community farm named Koinonia Farm. Husband and wife duo Millard and Linda Fuller were living on the farm when they conceived the idea of ‘partnership housing’.
As part of the community farm, Jordan and the Millards constructed 42 half-acres house sites funded by donations around the country. As a result, several families were helped and the foundation of Habitat for Humanity was created.
What is ‘partnership housing’?
The concept is quite simple. Those who could not afford housing could work in partnership with volunteers to build safe, affordable homes. The homes wouldn’t be built for a profit, but instead funded by donors and supporters while the homeowners paid back non-interest loans for the property. As the concept gained momentum, it was named ‘The Fund for Humanity’ which continued to grow and build more homes and communities into the 1970s.
Habitat reached international heights in 1976 after Habitat founders Millard and Linda Fuller took the concept of ‘partnership housing’ to Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo. After three long years of hard work, motivated by helping others, Millard and Linda returned to the US to share their story, learnings and mission and received nationwide attention.
In 1984, former president and social justice advocate Jimmy Carter and his wife had their first Habitat experience in Americus, Georgia. That experience fueled the Carter’s support in the organization due to their strong moral alignment. Only a few short months after their trip to Georgia, the Carter held the first Habitat for Humanity ‘Work Project’ in New York City that is now a week long event that is held in a different city across the world each year.
Millard Fuller has been described by Jimmy Carter as, “one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known.”
Dallas Habitat celebrates 35 years
As one of the largest area Habitats in the organization, we at Dallas Habitat for Humanity have been steadfast in our mission of providing safe, affordable housing to families in need for over 35 years. We have remained committed to serving Dallas because we know that our collective world has changed forever, and now more than ever, families are in need of affordable housing solutions to create memories and milestones to celebrate for a lifetime.