Indianapolis, Ind.- September, 12 2001 - Habitat for Humanity this week will commemorate 25 years of building houses, but with a schedule of local activities significantly modified from those originally planned.
The terrorist attacks and crippling aftermath have limited the ability of many of Habitat’s volunteers, staff and guests to travel to Indianapolis. More than 3,200 attendees were expected. Nearly 500 of the delegates, many of them from the 79 countries in which Habitat builds houses, were already in Indianapolis Tuesday.
"Habitat people are people who care," said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International as he explained the organization's decision to proceed with local events. "We draw strength from our God and from one another at a time like this when there is so much sadness in our land."
Habitat officials announced that many of today's workshops and training sessions were cancelled because their presenters were unable to get to Indianapolis. The opening ceremonies, originally scheduled for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, have been scaled back and moved to a downtown location. Featured speakers Jack Kemp and HUD Secretary Mel Martinez are also not expected to attend. Habitat officials are still assessing options for the conference's main public activity, Saturday evening’s event at Conseco Field House featuring President Jimmy Carter. The dedication of the 25 houses built by the Greater Indianapolis Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the Flanner House area is expected to occur as scheduled on Saturday. Habitat for Humanity has built more than 100,000 houses in its first 25 years. Its activities this week in Indianapolis were planned as a celebration of that milestone and a rededication to the organization’s ultimate goal of eliminating substandard housing from the world.
Fuller told attendees at Wednesday morning's devotion service that Habitat should not allow the forces of evil to alter what has already been accomplished by the group he founded 25 years ago. "I hope that we can have a pure heart and come closer to the God who created us by being together over these next several days."
Commemorating its 25th Anniversary year, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 79 nations have built and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.