Habitat for Humanity International, of which we are an affiliate, is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. While HFHI is built on Christian principles, the organization is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing for people of all faiths, races, and ethnicities throughout the world. The Stillwater affiliate is doing its part locally to reach that goal. Many individuals and families who live and work in Stillwater find that decent housing is either not available or not affordable to them. Stillwater Habitat had a tremendous milestone in 2005. A child of our first partner family graduated from OSU, the first child to graduate college in our Stillwater Habitat family. This is very concrete evidence of the success of our mission to provide ''a hand-up not a hand-out.''
Families and individuals are selected to become owners of Habitat houses on the basis of their income, number of people in the family, employment record, their current housing conditions, and other criteria. The Family Selection Committee works hard to choose applicants who will succeed as responsible homeowners.
Volunteers work alongside the selected partner families in constructing simple, decent homes. The families contribute hundreds of hours of ''sweat equity'' in building their own homes and then pay a mortgage that is profit free and interest free. The mortgage payments then are applied to the building of additional houses. To date, more than 600,000 houses have been constructed in over 40 countries.