published: Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Highlands Habitat joins worldwide celebration
Special to the News-Sun
SEBRING - Habitat for Humanity will mark a major milestone Monday when it dedicates its 500,000th house in Maai Mahiu, Kenya and begins construction on its 500,001st house in Paterson, N.J. Volunteers and homeowners from Highlands County Habitat for Humanity will join in celebrating the milestones as part of events held worldwide to mark World Habitat Day.
Highlands County Habitat for Humanity is among the more than 2,300 Habitat affiliates worldwide that have made this milestone possible, having built more than 160 homes locally since its founding in 1990.
"We recognize World Habitat Day as an opportunity to reflect on what God can do when people join together to build homes and hope," said John Hawthorne, executive director of Highlands County Habitat for Humanity. "We are so grateful for all of our volunteers, donors and advocates who share our vision of a community where everyone has a decent, safe and affordable place to live."
The milestone houses represent the steady increase in Habitat for Humanity's scale and scope to help more families in need of decent, affordable housing. In 2005, Habitat celebrated its 200,000th house. Six years later, Habitat for Humanity has more than doubled that number through new, rehabilitated, repaired and improved homes.
In Kenya, Habitat for Humanity will complete the 500,000th house on Monday in partnership with families who were displayed after post-election violence erupted in the country in late 2007. That same day, volunteers will raise the walls on Habitat's 500,001st house in Paterson, N.J. the house will be built in one of the inner-city neighborhoods where Paterson Habitat for Humanity has been continuously building since 1984.
Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide organization that operates in nearly 80 countries, including all 50 states in the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity's help, a family somewhere in the world improves its housing situation every seven minutes of every hour of every day of the year. In 2010, Habitat for Humanity served a record 74,960 families in need.
Highlands County Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian orginization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing, homelessness and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat is founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety.
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