Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario was established in 1993 as Habitat for Humanity London and expanded to Oxford Middlesex and Elgin counties in 2012, then into Stratford-Perth in 2014 and finally into Brant-Norfolk in 2021. We are a non-profit, non-denominational housing organization. We welcome partners without discrimination to help us build simple, decent, affordable homes for lower-income families. 100% of the revenue from our nine ReStores supports the administrative costs of Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario. With the help of volunteers, donors, and community partners, we have built a total of 113 homes in the region creating strength stability and independence for the people we serve.
Millard and Linda Fuller founded the Habitat for Humanity movement in 1976 in Americus, Georgia. Built on the idea of partnership housing, Habitat for Humanity volunteers gave a hand up to those in need by working side by side with them to build safe, decent and affordable houses.
The London ReStore first opened in May 1995, occupying 3,300 sq. ft. in a smaller portion of a former Consumers Distributing outlet in East London. Expansion started in 1999 into nearby warehouse space and in 2001, the ReStore moved its entire operations into 10,000 sq ft of combined retail, warehouse, and offices. In 2009-10, an ambitious strategic plan called for exponential growth for the affiliate over the next five years. The East location outgrew the available space, so in 2011, a second London store was opened in 9,500 sq ft of retail space in a more central location. The second part of that expansion was the renovation of an entire 18,000 sq ft building with combined warehouse, retail, and office space as its headquarters in 2012. The Woodstock ReStore was opened in 2013 to service Oxford County, and Habitat Heartland Ontario assumed operations of the Stratford ReStore in 2014. St. Thomas ReStore opened in August of 2015, and the Listowel ReStore followed in January of 2017.
The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial community outside of Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. The Fullers first visited Koinonia in 1965. They had recently left a successful business and an affluent lifestyle in Montgomery, Alabama to begin a new life of service. At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of "partnership housing." The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.
The houses would be built at no profit and interest would not be charged on the loans. Building costs would be financed by a revolving fund called "The Fund for Humanity.” The fund's money would come from the new homeowners' house payments, no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to build more houses.
What the poor need is not charity but capital, not caseworkers but co-workers. And what the rich need is a wise, honorable and just way of divesting themselves of their overabundance. The Fund for Humanity will meet both of these needs. Money for the fund will come from shared gifts by those who feel they have more than they need and from non-interest bearing loans from those who cannot afford to make a gift but who do want to provide working capital for the disinherited . . . The fund will give away no money. It is not a handout.
In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. Capital was donated from around the country to start the work. Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. The basic model of Habitat for Humanity was begun. In 1973, the Fullers decided to apply the Fund for Humanity concept in developing countries. The Fuller family moved to Mbandaka, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). The Fullers' goal was to offer affordable yet adequate shelter to 2,000 people. After three years of hard work to launch a successful house building program, the Fullers returned to the United States.
In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream. Habitat for Humanity International as an organization was born at this meeting. The eight years that followed, vividly described in Millard Fuller's book, "Love in the Mortar Joints," proved that the vision of affordable housing was workable. Community, hard work and direction set HFHI on its successful course.
In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat for Humanity brought the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat's work across the nation. Habitat for Humanity experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the country.
In 1985, the movement spread to Canada with the first Canadian build in Winkler, Manitoba. Two years later, Winnipeg became home to the first Canadian affiliate. Habitat for Humanity in Canada has since grown to 56 affiliates in 10 provinces and three territories and has successfully provided over 3,134 families with safe, decent and affordable housing.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 800,000 houses worldwide – providing shelter for more than 9.8 million people.
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada has served over 3,134 families nationwide. Internationally, Habitat’s improved the shelter conditions of one million more.
Social Return on Investment download - www.habitat.ca/photos/custom/BCG-Transforming-Lives-May-2015.pdf