Habitat for Humanity International was founded by Millard & Linda Fuller in 1976. Their leadership has helped forge Habitat into a worldwide Christian housing ministry.
While in college Millard and a friend started a marketing firm. The business prospered and soon the Fullers were millionaires. But with success and wealth their marriage suffered. This crisis prompted the Fullers to re-evaluate their lives. Their soul-searching led to reconciliation with each other and to a renewal of their Christian commitment.
The Fullers then took a dramatic step: They decided to sell all of their possessions - giving the money to the poor - and to begin searching for a new focus. This search led them to Koinonia Farm, a Christian community located near Americus, Ga., where people were looking for practical ways to apply Christ's teachings.
While at Koinonia the Fullers assisted in initiating several partnership enterprises, including a housing ministry. Working from a passage in the Bible that says someone lending money to the poor should not act as a creditor and should not charge interest (Exodus 22:25), they chose to build houses on a no-profit, no-interest basis, thus making homes affordable to families with low incomes.
In 1973, the Fullers moved to Africa with their four children to test their housing model overseas. The housing project was a success and became a working reality in Zaire. The Fullers were convinced that this model could be expanded and applied all over the world.
In 1976 they returned to United States and met with community leaders from all over the country and decided to create a new, independent organization: Habitat for Humanity International.
History of Wiregrass Habitat
Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity began in 1990 as the dream of two local women. Verna Saliba and the late Sharon Paxton, neighbors who found they shared a passion for their community and an interest in the Habitat for Humanity movement that was sweeping the nation. After visiting Habitat's headquarters in Americus and a building site in Atlanta, the two friends gathered members of the Wiregrass community and formed the first board of directors for the Wiregrass affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.
Since 1990 Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity has built 127 homes and housed more than 400 individuals. But the need is great and our mission is clear. There is still much to be done. Twenty-seven (27) homes were built in our first 10 years - Twenty-six (26) homes were completed in 2006. By the end of 2013, WHFH had built 120 homes. At the beginning of 2014 we began buildling homes #121-123, in 2015 we completed house #124 with #125 being completed in 2016. We began homes 126 and 127 in December 2016. Home 126 was completed April 2017 and home 127 will be completed in June. We will begin home 128 in the fall of 2017.
Built homes #126-127
Built homes #125
Built homes #124
Built homes #121-123
Built 14 homes in Diamond Grove Subdivision as well as 6 others around the city of Dothan for relocated hurricane evacuees.
Fourth family pays off their mortgage.
New Executive Director comes aboard
Millard Fuller visits affiliate at Annual Dinner
Completed Disaster Relief Project in Abbeville with a total of 7 homes
Built first home in Geneva
Started first Campus Chapter at Dothan High School
Started our first Disaster Relief Project in Abbeville-Project C.A.I.R.
Third family pays off their mortgage
Prison Partnerships began
Corporate Volunteer Program began
Moved into our new facility at 1227 Headland Ave.
Opened the Renovation Station
Awarded National Family Support "Best Practices" by Habitat International
Second family pays off their mortgage
First Women Build home completed
Hired Resource Development Coordinator and Bookkeeper
Hired first Volunteer Coordinator
Established United Faith Community (Church Relations Committee)
Hired first Construction Supervisor
Established family partnership program with monthly family workshops
Held first annual Family/Volunteer Recognition Dinner
Completed first Youth Build home
Fire destroys office and records in February
Moved into new office at 111 N. St. Andrews St. in September
First Wiregrass Habitat home mortgage is paid off
Began Traveling Store
Held first new family orientation
Formed Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity Youth Build
Hired first Executive Director and expanded office space
Established first office at 1863 Montgomery Highway
Hired first Americorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)
Received Affiliate status in September