Purpose of Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity (HFH) describes itself as a "Christian housing ministry." The organization strives to eliminate global poverty housing and homelessness by providing adequate and affordable housing a matter of both action and conscience. The organization's principles are founded upon "the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a decent place to live in dignity and safety." HFH holds to an open door policy that anyone who wishes to be a part of the organization's mission is welcome to participate in building projects.

The fundamental core beliefs of HFH is the desire to provide a tangible expression of God's love through working toward goals to eradicate poverty housing based on three essential theological concepts. The first concept is putting one's faith into action, as Jesus Christ taught everyone to love and care for one another in both words and deeds. The economics of Jesus is the second principle which is defined by responding to human needs without seeking personal gain is rewarded by God a result of efforts put forth. The third principle is the theology of the hammer, which proves that anyone has the ability to use a hammer regardless of religion or ethnic backgrounds.

Homeowners are selected based on a non-discriminatory policy stating that neither religion nor race is a determining factor when making selection decisions. Homeowner recipients are required to put forth 500 hours of "sweat equality" in either construction of personal projects or those of others in need. The number of required hours, however, varies depending on geographical location, homeowners' health conditions and the total wage-earning adults included in the household. HFH's approach to selecting recipients has been criticized as families are required to prove they have the ability to pay for the house while also showing a need for shelter. Numerous affiliates address this issue by only partnering with families falling under regional poverty levels set by the government. Recipients are also subject to a criminal background and credit check.


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