This was a year of milestones for Habitat for Humanity International. During the Jimmy Carter Work Project in August 2000, in New York City, we dedicated the 100,000th Habitat house with homeowners Mercedes and Colin Baynes. Later that week, in Plains, Georgia, Eugene and Michele Hughley welcomed us to their home, the 100,001st Habitat house. There, we strengthened our resolve to build 100,000 more houses before the end of 2005. At Vera Thomas's house in nearby Americus, we declared victory over substandard housing in Sumter County, Georgia, where Habitat for Humanity International was founded 25 years ago.
In Jacksonville, Florida, I joined Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Jack Kemp and 10,000 dedicated volunteers to build a record 101 Habitat houses in 17 days. Worldwide, 18,460 Habitat houses were built or renovated in FY01. With 3,133 houses completed, Africa and the Middle East passed the 20,000-house mark. Linda and I were in Uganda for the dedication of that milestone house.
Similar events punctuated our work in other parts of the world. In Asia Pacific, 3,088 houses were built; in Latin America and the Caribbean, 5,997. (In Brazil at Easter, Linda and I attended the dedication of the 35,000th Habitat house in Latin America.) Habitat built 51 houses in Europe and Central Asia and 127 houses in Canada, where the pace of building is accelerating dramatically. In the United States 6,064 Habitat houses were built; more than 40,000 have been built or renovated in the United States.
This year's report features a few faces behind the milestone numbers five families who live in simple, decent Habitat houses they helped to build. Their stories inspire us to shine a light on deplorable living conditions and to be a beacon of hope to so many thousands of others who still live in run-down, miserable housing.