Habitat USA and Habitat International are ecumenical Christian housing ministries that seek to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness worldwide. Everywhere we work, Habitat builds new relationships and a sense of community as well as new housing. Habitat also improves the local community by putting property back on the tax rolls and by adding life to older neighborhoods Through volunteer labor, careful management, and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent homes so they are affordable for low-income families currently living in substandard housing. Houses are sold to these partner families at cost, through no-interest mortgages. Each family's house payments go into a revolving fund to help pay for the construction of other houses. Construction of Habitat homes is a cooperative effort between volunteers and the future homeowners. This reduces the cost of the home, increases the pride of ownership, and fosters the development of positive relationships.
Our University's Chapter works with the Champaign County Chapter of Habitat to end poverty housing right here in Champaign. Since starting in 1992, the students have sponsored and helped complete approximately 17 houses. When not working on a house, the students fundraise and plan events and volunteer projects to connect with local Habitat families, and raise awareness about poverty housing. During spring break we also send trips to different states to build with Habitat.
MEET OUR CURRENT PARTNER FAMILY
We partnered with the Davidson Family this year (2018-2019) to build their home in Champaign County. Tavell Davidson grew up in an Urbana neighborhood and attended Urbana schools.“I just love Urbana, it’s a nice place to raise my girls, (12 and 15) and I feel like it is just the right size community for me. My extended family lives within 6 blocks of one another, and I want to keep my family close by if I can.” Tavell discovered Habitat’s work first-hand. She watched as Habitat construction projects started taking over many of the rundown homes in her current Urbana neighborhood. “The abandoned homes were being bull-dozed to make way for new Habitat homes. When all the volunteers showed up for Habitat, it was heartwarming to see that so many cared. They gave their time to make a real difference in our neighborhood. I knew I wanted our family to be a part of that, so I applied and got involved as soon as I could.”
Working with the Davidson family this year has been a heartwarming experience for our chapter. We dedicated their home on March 6, 2019 and wish them many happy memories in their home in the years to come.
Habitat grew out of the dedication of two visionary men: the late Clarence Jordan, founder of Koinonia Farm, a cooperative community; and Millard Fuller, a young millionaire who decided to give away his fortune and spend his life in Christian service. Together they recognized the desperate need for decent housing among the poor of southwestern Georgia and envisioned the partnership that became Habitat for Humanity International. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has grown rapidly and now includes more than 1400 U.S. affiliates in Habitat USA and over 100 projects in 30 other countries sponsored by Habitat International. Over 100,000 Habitat houses have been built. In December 1991, Habitat for Humanity of Champaign and Piatt Counties (HHCPC) became an official affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Our UIUC Student Chapter began that Spring of 1992, and became an official chapter with Habitat for Humanity International in March of 1993.