The first weeklong Carter Work Project was in September 1984, with the former president and Mrs. Carter joined by dozens of volunteers in the renovation of the six-story, 19-unit Mascot Flats apartment building in New York City.
In 1985, the Carters returned to New York’s Lower East Side to finish the work they had started the year before. The renovation provided rare affordable housing in the city, allowing homeowners to remain in their neighborhood.
Working in rainy conditions, some 150 volunteers from the United States and Canada worked alongside future Habitat homeowners to build a four-unit townhouse during the 1986 Carter Work Project in Chicago.
President and Mrs. Carter led 235 volunteers in the construction of 14 houses in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Optimist Park area.
Carter Work Project volunteers built 20 homes in Atlanta, Georgia, and renovated another 10 housing units in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1989, the Carter Work Project traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where President and Mrs. Carter joined nearly 1,000 volunteers and homeowners to build six new homes and renovate eight others.
Some 3,000 volunteers worked alongside 100 families from Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California, to build their homes. In Tijuana, the Carters joined volunteers staying in tents next to the construction site.
In 1991, President Carter returned to Miami’s Liberty City area, which he had last visited while occupying the Oval Office. More than 400 Carter Work Project volunteers spent the week building 14 houses alongside Habitat homeowners.
The Carters returned to Washington, D.C., in 1992, as Habitat volunteers. The Carter Work Project completed 10 homes in the nation’s capital. In addition, 10 houses were rehabbed in the Sandtown area of Baltimore.
More than 1,100 volunteers joined the Carters for the first Carter Work Project to be held entirely outside the United States. The week saw the construction of 18 houses in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and 10 houses in Waterloo, Ontario.
Thirty houses were completed on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation near Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
More than 1,500 volunteers from 39 states and five countries participated in the 1995 Carter Work Project in Los Angeles’ Watts/Willowbrook neighborhoods and other Southern California communities.
The Carter Work Project marked it first foray into Europe in 1996. President and Mrs. Carter led construction of 10 Habitat homes in Vac, Hungary. They built with homeowners and 500 volunteers from 23 countries.
The 1997 Carter Work Project built 50-plus houses in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee.
As the 1998 Carter Work Project kicked off in Houston, Texas, 100 families had hopes for a better future. When the build week wrapped up, that future was in sight.
In one of the largest Carter Work Projects, 14,000 volunteers from 32 countries helped build safe, decent and affordable homes in the Philippines. Families worked alongside volunteers to build 293 homes in six communities.
President and Mrs. Carter built with families in the Carters’ hometown of Plains, Georgia and also joined thousands of volunteers in Americus, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; and New York, New York. The week netted 157 new Habitat homes.
In 2001, President and Mrs. Carter and volunteers traveled to Asan, South Korea. More than 9,000 volunteers from South Korea and other countries worked with homeowners to build 136 housing units.
The Carters were joined by the then-presidents of Mozambique, Malawi and Kenya who witnessed 3,000 volunteers and Habitat homeowners build 100 houses in Durban, South Africa.
Volunteers joined the Carters in LaGrange and Valdosta, Georgia, and in Anniston, Alabama, to build alongside 92 Habitat homeowners.
The Carter Work Project 2004 brought together 4,000 Mexican and international volunteers to build 150 Habitat for Humanity homes in one week in the cities of Puebla and Veracruz.
While Detroit and Benton Harbor were the main sites of the 2005 Carter Work Project, local Habitats across Michigan also worked to strengthen their communities. More than 200 homes were built in Michigan during the week.
Sandhya and her husband, Aziz, worked with President and Mrs. Carter and volunteers during the 2006 Carter Work Project in Lonavala, India. Their home, one of 100 built during the week, is a place where the family can thrive.
In 2007, the Carter Work Project headed to southern California, to South Central Los Angeles and San Pedro, where more than 750 volunteers joined homeowners to build 30 houses and refurbish dozens of others.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 Carter Work Project took place in recovering communities along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
The volunteers and homeowners of the 2009 Carter Work Project joined together in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and China with the common goal of building stronger communities.
President and Mrs. Carter worked in communities in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland; Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota; and Birmingham, Alabama.
In 2011, the Carters and their fellow volunteers worked alongside families affected by Haiti’s devastating earthquake to erect 100 stable, secure homes.
The Carters traveled to the Caribbean nation of Haiti once again, with volunteers working alongside more than 150 families who moved from tents or makeshift shelters into safe, homes.
Volunteers and homeowners built or renovated homes in Denver, Colorado; Oakland and San Jose, California; Union Beach, New Jersey; and New York City, where the Carters also revisited the first Carter Work Project site.
During the 2014 Carter Work Project, more than 5,000 volunteers worked alongside 100 families to accomplish something big, namely brighter futures for Habitat families living in Dallas and Fort Worth.
The 2016 Carter Work Project brought hundreds of volunteers to Memphis, Tennessee. They and the Carters worked alongside Habitat homeowners to build 19 new homes and improve others.
In 2017, the Carters helped 150 families build and improve places they can call home as Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary.