2005: Making an impact throughout Michigan

The focus of the 2005 Carter Work Project was building 50 homes in Detroit and Benton Harbor. Affiliates across Michigan joined in with their own builds that week. In total, more than 60 affiliates participated and built 232 houses. A statewide dedication was held on Friday afternoon for all 232 houses.

Families. The 2005 Carter Work Project helped 232 Michigan families — 1,160 individuals — move into affordable housing and changed their lives forever. Many went back to school. Others got better jobs and made more money. Children got better grades in school. Eight years later, these families continue to reap the benefits of a simple, decent, affordable home.

Volunteers. More than 4,000 volunteers from around the world joined the Carters in Detroit and Benton Harbor. Throughout the state, approximately 16,000 more volunteers participated. Many first-time volunteers continued volunteering beyond the Carter Work Project. Some even became leaders in their local affiliates.

Advocacy. Politicians including the governor and local city council members helped build during the Carter Work Project, increasing their awareness of the need for decent affordable housing in the state. Those political leaders continue to work with the local affiliates to accomplish the goal of eliminating substandard housing in the state of Michigan.

Fund Development. More than $20 million was raised for the 2005 Carter Work Project. Raising these funds strengthened the ability of Habitat Michigan and local affiliates to increase donations. Many of the partnerships developed continue, and the majority of those donors are still part of the Habitat family.

As a result of hosting the Carter Work Project in 2005, the affiliates in Michigan have grown from serving 200 families a year to 583 in 2012.

— Ken Bensen, Habitat Michigan president emeritus