Battle Creek Area Habitat for Humanity Timeline
1989 – Our affiliate was established by a Visionary Board of Directors.
1991 – We dedicated our first house: 14 Douglas Ave.
1994 – 4 houses were rehabbed on Elm Street Project.
1997 – Our first new build, for a quad amputee, at New Moon Terrace.
1998 – First full-time Executive Director hired, Art Pearce.
1999 – 5 house Blitz Build completed on Helen Montgomery Blvd.
2000 – Purchase of 242 Hamblin Avenue for Habitat office and ReStore.
2000 – We are named Affiliate of the Year by Michigan Habitat for Humanity.
2001 – Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) home repair program initiated.
2001 – 2003 – 9 houses built in the Park Hill Neighborhood.
2003 – 551 W. Michigan Avenue building purchased for new Habitat office and ReStore.
2004 – We have a record year working on 14 houses: 10 new builds and 4 rehabs.
2004 – YouthBuild Battle Creek collaborative established.
2005 – Jimmy Carter Work Build event in July, 8 houses completed.
2006 – 3 of 7 houses built on West Jackson as part of a Builder Blitz and Thrivent partnership, all with 5-Star Energy ratings.
2007 – We received the Nonprofit Business Award from Calhoun County.
2007 – We celebrate the completion of our 100th home in Calhoun County.
2008 – We acquired 301 West Michigan and 300 W. Jackson buildings for warehousing, established Michigan Regional Distribution Center.
2009 – Our 20th Anniversary, 20 houses placed under construction.
Battle Creek Area Habitat for Humanity History
Established in 1989, Battle Creek Area Habitat for Humanity has made an indelible mark on the community and the people in three cities in Calhoun County, including Battle Creek, Marshall, and Albion. The means for doing this is through construction of various types and partnering with low to very low income families. All of our efforts have the goal of making decent and affordable shelter a mater of conscience and action, eliminating substandard housing in partnership and families in need.
Our construction has included building new houses, totally rehabbing existing, donated houses, repairing homes and building ramps for handicapped families for improved mobility in their homes. Though licensed and insured plumbers and electricians are employed, most of the actual construction work is done by volunteers, including the future homeowner.
In the 25 years of working in the three cities in Calhoun County, Battle Creek Area Habitat for Humanity has built or rehabbed 110 homes. Over 25 critical home repairs and installation of 40 wheelchair ramps have also been completed during that time. The number of families who have been impacted is far above that number. Over 600 volunteers provide time and labor each year, donating over 20,000 hours of labor. They come from the community at-large and across the nation. They are individual citizens, often retired men and women, as well as business people and students. They include some of the most influential, wealthy citizens along with those who have known poverty for generations.
Habitat for Humanity International History
The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia.Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. The Fullers first visited in 1965. They had recently left a successful business and an affluent lifestyle in Montgomery, Alabama to begin a new life of Christian service. At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.
The Fund for Humanity
The houses would be built at no profit and interest would not be charged on the loans. Building costs would be financed by a revolving fund called “The Fund for Humanity.” The fund’s money would come from the new homeowners’ house payments, no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to build more houses.
Inception of Habitat for Humanity
In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. Capital was donated from around the country to start the work. Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. The basic model of Habitat for Humanity was begun.
In 1973, the Fullers decided to apply the Fund for Humanity concept in developing countries. The Fuller family moved to Mbandaka, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo.) The Fullers’ goal was to offer affordable yet adequate shelter to 2,000 people. After three years of hard work to launch a successful house building program, the Fullers returned to the United States.
Expansion into Habitat for Humanity International
In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream. Habitat for Humanity International as an organization was born at this meeting. The eight years that followed, vividly described in Millard Fuller’s book, “Love in the Mortar Joints,” proved that the vision of a housing ministry was workable. Faith, hard work and direction set HFHI on its successful course.
In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat’s ministry brought the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat’s work across the nation. HFHI experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the country.
Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem―decent housing for all. Today, Habitat has helped build or repair more than 600,000 houses and served more than 3 million people around the world.