President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, partner each year with Habitat International to build homes for people in need around the globe.
Photo from habitat.org
Habitat for Humanity International
mission statement and principles
A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
Demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.
We undertake our work to demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus, acting in all ways in accord with the belief that God’s love and grace abound for all, and that we must be “hands and feet” of that love and grace in our world. We believe that, through faith, the minuscule can be multiplied to accomplish the magnificent, and that, in faith, respectful relationships can grow among all people.
Focus on shelter.
We have chosen, as our means of manifesting God’s love, to create opportunities for all people to live in decent, durable shelter. We put faith into action by helping to build, renovate or preserve homes, and by partnering with others to accelerate and broaden access to affordable housing as a foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty.
Advocate for affordable housing.
In response to the prophet Micah’s call to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God, we promote decent, affordable housing for all, and we support the global community’s commitment to housing as a basic human right. We will advocate for just and fair housing policy to eliminate the constraints that contribute to poverty housing. And, in all of our work, we will seek to put shelter on hearts and minds in such powerful ways that poverty housing becomes socially, politically and religiously unacceptable.
Promote dignity and hope.
We believe that no one lives in dignity until everyone can live in dignity. We believe that every person has something to contribute and something to gain from creating communities in which all people have decent, affordable places to live. We believe that dignity and hope are best achieved through equitable, accountable partnership.
Support sustainable and transformational development.
We view our work as successful when it transforms lives and promotes positive and lasting social, economic and spiritual change within a community; when it is based on mutual trust and fully shared accomplishment; and when it demonstrates responsible stewardship of all resources entrusted to us.
All are welcome
Habitat has an open-door policy: All who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. We have a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion. We welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.
We are driven by the desire to give tangible expression to the love of God through the work of eliminating poverty housing. Our mission and methods are predominantly derived from a few key theological concepts:
Putting faith into action - Habitat’s ministry is based on the conviction that to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we must love and care for one another. Our love must not be words only— it must be true love, which shows itself in action. Habitat provides an opportunity for people to put their faith and love into action. We bring diverse groups of people together to make affordable housing and better communities a reality for everyone.
The economics of Jesus - When we act in response to human need, giving what we have without seeking profit, we believe God magnifies the effects of our efforts. We refer to this perspective as “the economics of Jesus.” Together, the donated labor of construction volunteers, the support of partner organizations and the homeowners’ “sweat equity” make Habitat’s house building possible. By sharing resources with those in need, Habitat volunteers and supporters have made decent, affordable shelter a reality for more than 6.8 million people worldwide.
The theology of the hammer - Habitat is a partnership founded on common ground— bridging theological differences by putting love into action. Everyone can use the hammer as an instrument to manifest God’s love. Habitat’s late founder, Millard Fuller, called this concept “the theology of the hammer.” “We may disagree on all sorts of other things,” said Fuller, “but we can agree on the idea of building homes with God’s people in need, and in doing so using biblical economics: no profit and no interest.”