Habitat for Humanity of Miami County, Ohio was organized by Shirley Saxton in the summer of 1991. We became an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International on November 1, 1992. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian organization that through volunteers and donations, and in partnership with families in need, build or rehabilitate houses. The houses are sold to our partner families at no profit and no interest. Miami County has over 1000 families currently living in substandard housing.
Through volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and renovates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans.
The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses. Habitat carries out its mission at the community level through organized groups that we call affiliates.
Affiliates raise the funds used to construct houses. All affiliates are asked to tithe-to give 10 percent of their contributions-to fund house-building work in other nations. Since our affiliation in 1992, we have tithed a total of $90,001.59. Therefore, we have not only dedicated 42 houses here in Miami County, but we have built 38+ houses overseas.
Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest 400 hundred hours of their own labor- "sweat equity"-into building their house and the houses of others.
Houses within Miami County currently cost approximately $60,000.00 to build.
Habitat houses are sold to low-income families at no profit, and no interest is charged on the mortgage. Mortgage length varies from 20 to 30 years. House costs are kept low by using locally contributed materials and volunteer labor. Habitat continues to search for innovative approaches and partnerships that will enable even the poorest families to have a simple, decent place to live.
Families in need of decent shelter call the Habitat office at (937)332-3763 to request application information.
The affiliate's Application Review Committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the no-interest loan. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing homeowner families.
An ecumenical board of trustees consisting of 12 members determines policy and oversees and guides the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Miami County, Ohio. Board members are dedicated volunteers who are deeply concerned about the problems of poverty housing in Miami County. The current President of the Board of Trustees is Karen Eliason. Kirsten Sherk, Executive Director heads up program operations with the support of one full-time office manager and one part-time office assistant.