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NAACP National Convention Delegates to Build a Habitat for Humanity House in a Box

House is one of an initial 25 that the NAACP will build as part of a “Love Thy Neighbor”partnership with Habitat for Humanity International

Washington (July 14, 2006) – When delegates and visitors from around the nation make their way to the Washington, D.C. Convention Center for the 97th Annual National Association for the Advancement of Colored People National Convention, July 15-20, they will be able to view the framing of a Habitat for Humanity home that will be shipped to Houston for assembly and completion with a partner family who was affected by last year’s hurricanes.

NAACP delegates and volunteers will begin building the home at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 15. Between 3-3:30 p.m., the first wall will be raised by NAACP President and CEO Bruce Gordon, NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Julian Bond, Board Vice Chairman Roslyn Brock and others. On Wednesday, July 19, Gordon and Habitat CEO Jonathan Reckford will participate in the dedication ceremony and present the house keys to the homeowner family.

The house is part of the “Love Thy Neighbor” project, a partnership between the NAACP and Habitat for Humanity. Announced in early February, the Love Thy Neighbor goal is to build at least 25 new homes – and perhaps as many as 100 – with families affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Twenty of the homes will be built in Gulfport, Miss., and five homes will be built in Houston, Texas, for families that have relocated to that city following the hurricanes.

Annie Marie Williams, her 8-year-old daughter, A’Niesha, and her 86-year-old father, William, lost everything as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Since the storm, they’ve lived temporarily in several shelters in several states. They are now living in a small two bedroom apartment in Houston where A’Niesha and her grandfather share a bedroom. “I really feel it’s important that my dad and daughter have their own space,” said Annie Marie. “A’Niesha is unable to go outside and play because of the heavy traffic around the apartment complex. I just want a chance to give her what I had, a chance to grow up in the same house and the knowledge that she always has a place to return home to.”

“The partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the NAACP is a great model,” said Habitat for Humanity CEO, Jonathan Reckford. “There’s such a promising opportunity created when organizations share core beliefs and values, then join forces to elicit meaningful change. That’s what has happened in this case. Both Habitat and the NAACP believe that everyone should have equal access and opportunity in life. Together, through this partnership, we are building so much more than houses. We’re helping hurricane-affected families rebuild their homes, reclaim their lives and re-establish a sense of security.”

“From the time Katrina struck, the NAACP’s goal has been to extend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in their time of need,” said NAACP President and CEO Bruce Gordon. “This is part of our effort to give the survivors hope and to help restore their sense of dignity and well-being.”

The Love Thy Neighbor project is also the beginning of what Gordon and Reckford are counting on being a long-term relationship between the global nonprofit homebuilder and the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, not only in the hurricane-affected areas, but nationally and other opportunities where both organizations can partner to strengthen communities. For information about or to support the NAACP, Habitat partnership, please visit www.habitat.org/naacp-lovethyneighbor or www.naacp.org.

About the NAACP
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. www.naacp.org

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.