The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | February / March 2002
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Reaching Goals, Celebrating Milestones

Last year, Habitat for Humanity International celebrated its 25th year of building houses around the world with people in need. In those years, the organization built more than 100,000 houses throughout nearly 80 countries. As 2001 came to a close, HFHI looked ahead to its next goal: that of building 100,000 additional houses by the end of 2005. Certainly, every house built toward that goal is one to be celebrated. Here are a few recent “milestones” reached around the world.

HFH Philippines completed its 5,000th house last November. The Habitat program there achieved steady growth until it hosted the Jimmy Carter Work Project in 1999. Since then, the organization shifted into an explosive growth mode and now has 27 affiliates.

HFH Guatemala celebrated the completion of its 10,000th house last fall. Habitat founder and president Millard Fuller dedicated the house, which represented the culmination of El Rosario-Retalhuleu HFH’s “Building on Faith” week.

Habitat Samoa dedicated its first house last fall on the country’s main island of Upolu. Prime Minister TUILA’EPA Sailele Malielegaoi attended the groundbreaking.

In the United States, San Antonio (Texas) HFH celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, and completed its 250th house on Nov. 3. In Ohio, Cincinnati HFH marked its 15th year of building late last year, and celebrated the completion of 81 houses since its inception.
A Mother’s Journey ‘Home’

Sherry Theroux had known housing security all of her life, until she hit rough times after a divorce several years ago. She worked three jobs to support her three children, but the best housing they could afford was a tiny, $650-a-month apartment in a building that was eventually condemned as a fire hazard. Today, she can work one job and still make her monthly mortgage payment of $255 for her Habitat house in Drain, Ore. She has a decent car and thus is able to commute safely to work. She spends her free time volunteering with Cottage Grove HFH and serves as a volunteer coach for her daughter’s volleyball team. Here, she writes a letter about what moving into her Habitat house in 1999 has meant to her:

“Living in a Habitat for Humanity house sure is a new and wonderful experience. My children and I still feel as if it is all a dream. We have so much room and safety that we don’t quite know what to do with it all. We actually can go into a real bathroom that has a working shower, a sturdy toilet and a door. We actually have locks on our front and back doors that close. We can sleep peacefully now without worrying if our home will burn down during the night. My children have a yard to play in....It has been so nice to have a yard to clean, a lawn to mow, a porch to sit on, and when we clean house, it actually looks clean. The mortgage payment–it sounds so strange to say that–has relieved so much of the stress. It is an amount that actually allows us to pay it and other bills without juggling and struggling to do it. We can actually afford to buy a gallon of milk when we need it....For so long we paid such high rent for a house that was so unsafe that I wonder how we did it... THANK YOU, God and Habitat for Humanity, for making another family safe and blessed.”

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