49. Join Habitat For Humanity
Humanity, a Christian housing ministry, builds houses for families in danger
of becoming homeless. Volunteers from the community and Habitat homeowners erect
the houses. Funding is through donations from churches, corporations,
foundations, and individuals.
The community chapters of Habitat, acting as banks, hold monthly payments,
the funds are recycled for the next home built. Typical payback on a loan is
$150 a month, manageable even on a very low income. The average cost to a family
for their Habitat home in the United States is $30,000 plus 500 hours of "sweat
equity"--their own physical labor and their commitment to help construct other
Anyone can volunteer to help on a Habitat project. Since leaving office,
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn have spent one week every
summer working on a Habitat project, one of over 10,000 dwellings built or
rehabilitated worldwide since 1990. By having needy and affluent people work
together in equal partnership, Habitat not only erects houses, but also builds
new relationships and a sense of community.