- 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 130+ homes and housed more than 400 individuals. But the need is great and our mission is clear. There is still much to be done. A Selection Committee and our Board of Directors approve 4-6 people to partner with for a Habitat home every 3-4 years. Currently, we work hard to have a Spring Build and a Fall Build. At this time, over 65 people have paid off their mortgages in full. We have approximately 60-70 families with WHFH mortgages at this time.
We are currently working on House #131
- Built homes #131
- Built homes #129 & #130
- Built homes #128
- Moved into new location at 2086 Montgomery Highway
- Built homes #126-127
- Built homes #125
- Built homes #124
- Built homes #121-123
- Built homes #119-120
- Moved into new location at 2043 Montgomery Highway
- Built homes #117-118
- Hired ReStore Director
- Built homes #115-116
- Built homes #111-114
- Began Critical Home Repair and Weatherization Program
- Built homes #107-111
- Built homes #101-106
- Built homes #96-100
- Built homes # 73-95
- Built 14 homes in Diamond Grove Subdivision as well as 6 others around the city of Dothan for relocated hurricane evacuees.
- Built homes #68-72
- 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 homes #58-#67
- Built first home in Geneva
- Started first Campus Chapter at Dothan High School
- Built homes #47-#57
- Started our first Disaster Relief Project in Abbeville-Project C.A.I.R.
- Prison Partnerships began
- Corporate Volunteer Program began
- Built homes #37-#46
- Moved into our new facility at 1227 Headland Ave.
- Opened the Renovation Station
- Awarded National Family Support “Best Practices” by Habitat International
- Built homes #28-#36
- First Women Build home completed
- Hired Resource Development Coordinator and Bookkeeper
- Built homes #23, #24, #25, #26 and #27
- Hired first Volunteer Coordinator
- Built homes #20, #21, and #22
- Established United Faith Community (Church Relations Committee)
- Hired first Construction Supervisor
- Built homes #17, #18 and #19
- Established family partnership program with monthly family workshops
- Held first annual Family/Volunteer Recognition Dinner
- Completed first Youth Build home
- Built homes #15 and #16
- Fire destroys office and records in February
- Moved into new office at 111 N. St. Andrews St. in September
- Built homes #12, #13, and #14
- Began Traveling Store
- Held first new family orientation
- Formed Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity Youth Build
- Built home #11
- Hired first Executive Director and expanded office space
- Built home #10
- Built homes #7, #8, and #9
- Established first office at 1863 Montgomery Highway
- Hired first Americorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)
- Built homes #4, #5, and #6
- Built homes #1, #2, and #3
- Affiliate was formed by Sharon Paxton and Verna Saliba
- Received Affiliate status in September