Denver - July 8, 1999 - Frances Owens, first lady of Colorado, is making house building a family affair. On Saturday, she will work on a Habitat for Humanity home with her 16-year-old daughter, Monica; her sister, Denise and her 17-year-old niece, Jennifer.
Mrs. Owens is participating in First Ladies Build, a program of Habitat for Humanity International's Women Build department. Governors' wives are swinging hammers at Women Builds to promote women's involvement in building homes with people in need.
Through First Ladies Build, most of the country's first ladies will help build Habitat for Humanity houses in or near their state capitals. Mrs. Owens is working with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.
"A decent affordable house is a basic necessity," Mrs. Owens said. "Having a safe and stable home helps families grow to achieve their fullest potential."
On a Women Build, as with any build, the Habitat partner family contributes "sweat equity" by working alongside volunteers. Homeowner partner Debbie Heckethorne will contribute at least 250 hours of "sweat equity," then purchase her home from Habitat for Humanity with a no-interest, no-profit mortgage.
First Ladies Build is the premier program of Habitat for Humanity International's Women Build department. Since 1991, women crews have built more than 200 Habitat for Humanity homes. First Ladies Build empowers women and expands the capacity of Habitat for Humanity to make homeownership a reality for families in need.
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit worldwide, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity brings together people with resources and people in need to build simple, decent, affordable houses. The homes are sold to those in need at no profit, through no-interest loans. Founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife Linda, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 75,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 375,000 people worldwide. It has affiliates in every state of the United States and in 63 other countries around the world.