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Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East joins nationwide “Beloved Community” initiative to bring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of access, equality and opportunity for all into action

Habitat for Humanity joins The King Center to mobilize
nationwide affordable housing work.

[PORTLAND, OR] (January 15, 2018)—Building on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the “Beloved Community,” Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East announced plans today to honor King’s legacy in Portland through a series of events. Over the next year, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International and The King Center’s MLK 50 Forward initiative, Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East is renewing and strengthening its commitment to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live and the opportunity for a better future.

“We are thrilled to honor Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community,” said Steve Messinetti, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East. “When we build houses, we also build bridges between people of diverse backgrounds, we build paths to more connected communities, and we build ways for all people to come together.”

Today, volunteers are honoring Dr. King’s vision in NE Portland by joining together to build the final homes at Habitat’s Helensview community. Located at NE 64th Ave. & Killingsworth Ct. Helensview will be home to 21 local, low-income families in need of decent, affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East announced plans to host an inspiring keynote speaker, Natosha Reid Rice, at their 18th annual HopeBuilder Breakfast on April 25th. Rice is the Associate Pastor at the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the pastoral home of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She also serves as the Associate General Counsel for Real Estate and Finance at Habitat for Humanity International.

This effort will build on work being performed by other Habitats across the country undertaking Beloved Community projects and events, including the construction of new affordable homes, critical home repairs and community revitalization initiatives.

“In 2018, as we mark the 50th anniversaries of Dr. King’s tragic death and the passage of the Fair Housing Act, we renew our pledge to make the concept of a Beloved Community a reality,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “This will never be a world of equality, of fairness, of human decency that leaves no room for poverty or prejudice or violence, unless we build it. And so we build.”

Habitat is partnering with The King Center in Atlanta as it marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.

“With every new home that Habitat for Humanity builds, we move one step closer to my father’s vision of the Beloved Community,” said Dr. Bernice A. King. “Since its founding, Habitat for Humanity has been lifting families up through God’s love and showing them the path to take control of their lives through homeownership. This year, we’re going to have an even more powerful voice for those families and future homeowners so that one day, everyone lives in the Beloved Community with agape love.”

The King Center’s 50 Forward initiative has issued a challenge to undertake 50 acts of kindness and service to mark the anniversary. Habitat for Humanity invites others to join in pledging to help build the Beloved Community. Read more about why Habitat is propelling this cause in an essay by Jonathan Reckford and Steve Messinetti. Visit habitatportlandmetro.org/takethepledge to learn more and follow #BelovedCommunity to join the conversation.

About Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent, affordable place to live. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home while paying an affordable mortgage. Habitat is the only organization in the Portland Metro area that consistently offers homeownership opportunities to homebuyers making as little as $30,000. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable homeownership, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.