Helping Families Own a Home

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Habitat for Humanity Towns/Union Counties History

  • 1995: Two inspirational trips in 1989 & 1992 building Habitat homes in NC and SC inspired a group from Young Harris College to start a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Towns and Union Counties.
  • 1999: The affiliate built the first home and continued to serve between 1 and 2 families per year since then.
  • 2011: The affiliate served its eleventh Family by dedicating a home in October.
  • 2012: The twelfth family had its home dedicated in March.
  • 2012: The affiliate served its thirteenth family with a dedication in December.
  • 2013: The ReStore was opened in December.
  • 2014: The affiliate served its fourteenth Family with a dedication in January and relocated into new offices in Young Harris in February.

Koinonia Farm

The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia.Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. The Fullers first visited in 1965. They had recently left a successful business and an affluent lifestyle in Montgomery, Alabama to begin a new life of Christian service. At Koinonia, Jordan and 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 simple, decent houses.

The Fund for Humanity

The houses would be built at no profit and interest would not be charged on the loans. Building costs would be financed by a revolving fund called “The Fund for Humanity." 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. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to build more houses.

Inception of Habitat for Humanity

In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. Capital was donated from around the country to start the work. Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. The basic model of Habitat for Humanity was begun.


In 1973, the Fullers decided to apply the Fund for Humanity concept in developing countries. The Fuller family moved to Mbandaka, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo.) The Fullers' goal was to offer affordable yet adequate shelter to 2,000 people. After three years of hard work to launch a successful house building program, the Fullers returned to the United States.

Expansion into Habitat for Humanity International

In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream. Habitat for Humanity International as an organization was born at this meeting. The eight years that followed, vividly described in Millard Fuller's book, “Love in the Mortar Joints,” proved that the vision of a housing ministry was workable. Faith, hard work and direction set HFHI on its successful course.

Phenomenal Growth

In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat's ministry brought the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat's work across the nation. HFHI experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the country.

Habitat Today

Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem―decent housing for all. Today, Habitat has helped build or repair more than 600,000 houses and served more than 3 million people around the world. according to

Builder magazine has ranked Habitat for Humanity as the No. 1 private homebuilder on Builder 100, its annual listing of the largest U.S. homebuilders. This is the second year in a row Habitat has been recognized as a top builder of affordable housing in the U.S.


Habitat for Humanity: A Christian Ministry

Shelter from wind, rain and cold is a basic human need

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization. We are dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Our ministry was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live in dignity and safety.

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.

Putting faith into action

Habitat's ministry is based on the conviction that we must love and care for one another. 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
  • No Profit
  • No Interest
  • Long Term Mortgage
  • Revolving Fund to build more houses.
  • Habitat volunteers, supporters, and the homeowner's "sweat equity" have made decent, affordable housing a reality for more than 600,000 families worldwide.

What We Build

What Are Habitat Houses Like? Simple, affordable and decent. Habitat houses around the world are built according to the same 3 guiding principles: Simple: Habitat houses are modestly-sized. They are large enough for the homeowner family's needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum. Decent: Habitat for Humanity uses quality, locally-available building materials. Habitat house designs reflect the local climate and culture. Affordable: The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-interest, no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses. Habitat Houses in North America Habitat houses in the United States and Canada are typically built using wood frame construction, Gypsum board interior walls, vinyl siding and asphalt shingle roofs, and are built to energy efficient standards. Habitat houses are modestly-sized by North American standards. Habitat’s guidelines are that a 3-bedroom Habitat house have approximately 1,100 square feet of living space. "This home is more than a house. It is a home with love, built with love and hope and dreams, because of Habitat for Humanity. You've given our family hope - no matter how bad things get or have been in the past. God has blessed our family with the caring, supportive, concerned, kind people at Habitat." - a Habitat for Humanity partner family.

Why Habitat is Needed

The world is experiencing a global housing crisis By 2020, it is estimated the world slum population will reach almost 1 billion. Lack of clean water and sanitation claim the lives of more than 1.8 million young children every year. In the United States, 48.5 million people are living in poverty Minimum wage is not keeping up with the rising cost of living and many workers struggle to afford decent housing. Decent, stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head Stability for families and children. Sense of dignity and pride. Health, physical safety and security. Increase of educational and job prospects.​ Housing must become a priority The percentage of people without access to decent, stable housing is rising. Learn how Habitat is making a difference Habitat for Humanity International’s annual reports​​.