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Habitat’s 200,000th house

Habitat celebrates sheltering 1 million people around the world

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In August 2005, Habitat volunteers, staff, family and friends joined the Kouassi-Harper family in front of their new home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Jack Kemp, chairman of Habitat’s More than Houses campaign, presented the family with the key to their home, the 200,000th build by Habitat for Humanity worldwide. The celebration included special messages from Habitat CEO, Jonathan Reckford, and Knoxville Habitat affiliate executive director, Kelle Shultz.

After receiving the key, Koffi and Tonya and their children began moving into their new home. When eight-year-old twins N’dah and Ayah crossed the threshold, the total number of people sheltered in Habitat homes worldwide reached one million.

Homeownership was something the family thought impossible just a short time earlier. Thanks to the hard work of a group of dedicated volunteers from around the world, the Kouassi-Harper family has been able to realize their dream.

“Thank you,” Tonya says, “for making an impossible dream possible.”

200,001st house
Just 24 minutes after the Kouassi-Harper family received the key to their new home, the owners of the 200,001st Habitat house — Michel, his wife Vivitha, and their four children — were presented with their key in Kanyakumari, India. 

Michel and Vivitha’s house was destroyed by the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami and they had little hope of rebuilding until they learned about Habitat’s program. “With our low income, it is unimaginable to have a new house, so this is great,” says Vivitha. “I can’t believe this is happening to us.”

Michel and Vivitha celebrated with four other families who also dedicated houses in Kanyakumari at the same time.