This spring my wife, April, and I accepted the invitation of a lifetime – a chance to participate in the annual Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Weekend. This gathering of about 30 Habitat for Humanity International donors and organization leaders provided the perfect environment to learn more about Habitat’s plans, and, of course, spend time with the Carters.
Habitat has grown to be the largest nonprofit housing organization in the world, serving over 4 million people! Much of this success is attributed to the Carter’s decision to volunteer with Habitat 30 years ago, giving the fight against poverty housing a big voice. And as Habitat grows, so must the strategy to take on this fight.
This weekend addressed Habitat’s expansion for greater societal impact. For example, in many developing countries, financing for housing does not exist for low-income families. Because of this, Habitat is establishing a microfinance model called the MicroBuild Fund. Unlike Habitat’s traditional model of building, the MicroBuild Fund provides capital to financial institutions that make small loans available to low-income families for housing improvements. Considering these loans are small, with over $50 million in the fund, this is already having a huge impact.
And here in Portland, while we continue building homes in partnership with hardworking families, it’s vital that we also look at new ways to create greater impact. This means considering new, innovative approaches, policy changes, new products and teaming up with other like-minded organizations so that everyone has an opportunity to live in a safe home.
Thank you for your support in creating a metro area that is affordable for everyone.
Steve Messinetti, President and CEO
“Habitat has opened up unprecedented opportunities to cross the chasm that separates those of us who are free, safe, financially secure, well fed and housed, and influential enough to shape our own destiny from our neighbors who enjoy few, if any, of these advantages of life.”