You have probably heard of or perhaps even volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. Its history is one of a personal vision that became a worldwide reality. The concept began in 1942, when a farmer and scholar by the name of Clarence Jordan, founded a small community outside of Americus, Georgia. He called it Koinonia Farm.
In 1965, Millard and Linda Fuller visited the community having recently left a successful business and an affluent lifestyle in Montgomery, Alabama. Their vision was to begin a new life of service to mankind. At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The idea was those in need of adequate shelter could work side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.
The Fullers decided to apply the concept in developing countries when they moved to Zaire in 1973. After three years of hard work to launch a successful house building program, they returned to the United States.
The little idea grew and the Fullers founded the Habitat for Humanity movement in 1976. The movement set out to build houses at no profit and charge no interest on loans needed to build them. The fund’s money would come from the new homeowners’ house payments, no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities.
“Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 500,000 houses worldwide – providing shelter for more than 2 million people.”