Our Mission, Vision, & Principles

Habitat's Vision

A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat's Mission

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

Indian River Habitat for Humanity became an affiliate in September 1991, under the leadership of Bill Elliott and his co-founders, Bob Walsh, Ray Scent and Charlie Cox, pictured below.

[caption: Pictured left to right:  Bob Walsh, Ray Scent, Charlie Cox and Bill Elliot] A black and white photo of the four founders
Three men, two women, and a young boy and girl standing outside at a table with two Bibles on it.

Indian River Habitat for Humanity (IRHFH) is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. IRHFH is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

Non Proselytizing Policy

IRHFH has an open-door policy: All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize.

This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.

Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations will not proselytize. Nor will HFH work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with HFH. This means that HFH will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must adhere to or convert to a particular faith or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.

Habitat History

Habitat began as an idea on Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia in the 1960s by Millard and Linda Fuller, and was formerly founded in 1976 as a Christian ministry dedicated to the elimination of poverty housing worldwide. Habitat for Humanity today operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate and repair more than 39 million people build or improve the place they call home. In FY2021 alone, Habitat helped improve housing conditions for more than 42 million people worldwide. Click Here to learn more about Habitat for Humanity's beginnings. Indian River Habitat for Humanity was affiliated in 1991, and its successful track record has benefitted over 2,500 families in Indian

River County through the construction of 421 new homes, the rehabbing of 95 existing homes, and the repair of 687 homes. IRHFH's Scholarship Program has awarded more than 1,500 homeowners and/or children financial assistance for college, trade school or certification programs, as well as assistance associated with after school and/or summer care for children. In calendar years 2005, 2006 and fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the affiliate received the prestigious "Affiliate of the Year" award, in the suburban (medium sized) category, from Habitat for Humanity International, a reflection of the dedication and generous support of our donors, volunteers and staff.

How does Habitat for Humanity work?

Habitat is a self-help program - "A hand up, not a hand out." In lieu of a down payment, homebuyers contribute 300 to 500 hours of sweat equity, working side-by-side with our volunteers, to make their dream of home ownership a reality. By investing themselves in the actual building process, homeowners gain self-reliance, self-esteem and new skills.

Their monthly zero-interest mortgage payments provide a perpetual income stream which is used to build more houses and lives. Working together, home buyers, volunteers and donors form partnerships which, in turn, help build and revitalize communities.

Using qualifying criteria developed by Habitat International and the local affiliate, a Habitat Selection Committee chooses families in need from a pool of applicants.

Prospective homebuyers must have:

  • a need for simple, decent affordable housing
  • the ability to pay for and maintain a house
  • the desire to partner with Habitat by showing a willingness to complete 300-500 Sweat Equity hours working on their own house as well an on other Habitat projects
  • the willingness to complete all mandatory classes, including financial management training, provided to help equip homebuyers for homeownership