Habitat for Humanity: Based on Christian Principles
Shelter from wind, rain and cold is a basic human need
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization. We are dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Our ministry was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live in dignity and safety.
All are welcome
Habitat has an open-door policy: All who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. We have a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion. We welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.
Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations (HFH) will not proselytize. Nor will HFH work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with HFH. This means that HFH will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must (i) adhere to or convert to a particular faith or (ii) listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.
We are driven by the desire to give tangible expression to the love of God through the work of eliminating poverty housing. Our mission and methods are predominantly derived from a few key theological concepts:
- Putting faith into action
Habitat's ministry is based on the conviction that to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we must love and care for one another. Our love must not be words only— it must be true love, which shows itself in action. Habitat provides an opportunity for people to put their faith and love into action. We bring diverse groups of people together to make affordable housing and better communities a reality for everyone.
- The economics of Jesus
When we act in response to human need, giving what we have without seeking profit, we believe God magnifies the effects of our efforts. We refer to this perspective as "the economics of Jesus." Together, the donated labor of construction volunteers, the support of partner organizations and the homeowners' "sweat equity" make Habitat's house building possible. By sharing resources with those in need, Habitat volunteers and supporters have made decent, affordable housing a reality for more than 300,000 families worldwide.
- The theology of the hammer
Habitat is a partnership founded on common ground— bridging theological differences by putting love into action. Everyone can use the hammer as an instrument to manifest God's love. Habitat’s late founder, Millard Fuller, called this concept "the theology of the hammer." "We may disagree on all sorts of other things,” said Fuller, “but we can agree on the idea of building homes with God's people in need, and in doing so using biblical economics: no profit and no interest."
Habitat for Humanity welcomes all people to build with us in partnership. "The Bible teaches that God is the God of the whole crowd," explained Fuller. "God's love leaves nobody out, and my love should not either. This understanding drives 'the theology of the hammer' around the world, steadily building more and more houses in more and more countries."