1987: A catalyst for Charlotte — and beyond

I think the big thing I remember about the Carter Work Project is just how much excitement and enthusiasm there was for it. It galvanized our community. We built 14 houses that week. I think before that, we’d built 14 houses total.

The affiliate was started in 1983, so we were still new, not a lot of people knew what Habitat was before President Carter. There was a lot of press coverage from newspapers and TV in both North and South Carolina, so it sort of became a catalyst for a lot of new affiliates being formed in these two states. We’d get calls from a lot of people asking about what we did and how.

Hosting the Carter Work Project helped to really put us on the map as a housing provider, and we’ve still got good relationships throughout the city. Last year, we served about 104 families. That’s a mixture of new houses, houses we’ve bought in foreclosure on the open market, and repairs on owner-occupied homes.

People still ask me about the Carter Project. I just think the world of President Carter and his family and all they mean to Habitat and will forever mean to Habitat. He’s brought a lot of attention to this ministry and been very supportive and just empowered this ministry. We’ll be eternally grateful for his leadership.

— Bert Green, Habitat Charlotte director of strategic initiatives