Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

June 23, 2005 10:00 ET

President Carter Dedicates New Habitat for Humanity Homes in Windsor

Ceremony marks success of first Canadian-American Habitat for Humanity Jimmy Carter Work Project Attention: Assignment Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor WINDSOR, ONT. --(CCNMatthews - June 23, 2005) - June 23, 2005 - Six Canadian families will realize their dream of home ownership today as a result of the first ever Canadian-American Habitat for Humanity Jimmy Carter Work Project. Former US president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are in Windsor, Ontario today to celebrate the completion of the Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex Blitz Build, hosted in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity Canada.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate's visit is part of the 2005 Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP), the largest annual Habitat for Humanity event that builds simple, decent and affordable homes for families in need. This year's efforts include builds in Windsor, Ont., Detroit, Benton Harbor and 50 other locations throughout Michigan combining to build a total of 238 new homes in two weeks.

Orchestrated by Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex, the Windsor Bruce Avenue build comprised of six semi-detached homes built between June 11-24, 2005 and involved hundreds of volunteers, community partners, corporate sponsors, and the partner families.

"The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is proud to support the 2005 Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex Build," said the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Affordable housing is an important part of our commitment to build healthy, sustainable communities, and we are dedicated to working in partnership with organizations like Habitat for Humanity to address housing needs in Windsor and across the country."

"Like other Habitat for Humanity programs, the Jimmy Carter Work Project builds more than just homes," says David Hughes, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "It forms stronger communities, shapes dreams and rebuilds our faith in one another - one family and one house at a time."

Along with the Carters, other officials and dignitaries will take part in the ceremony to mark the Habitat for Humanity 2005 Jimmy Carter Work Project. They include Dino Chiesa, Chairman, Board of Directors, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Community and Social Services and MPP for Windsor-West, the Mayor of Windsor Eddie Francis, and former Governor General Ed Schreyer, who is also a Habitat for Humanity International board member.

During the visit, former U.S. president Carter will tour the homes with the families and participate in a luncheon with more than 300 volunteers, community leaders, corporate partners, and friends of Habitat for Humanity.

"Combined with our work at The Carter Center, where we focus on peace-building and health-building, Rosalynn and I have found great joy in serving those who have too few advocates, too few friends, in this world," says President Carter. "As long as we are able, we will keep on building, hammering out love and hope and houses, doing what we can to help Habitat for Humanity build a better and more caring world."

Homeowner candidates are selected on the basis of their need for affordable housing; their ability to repay a Habitat for Humanity no-interest mortgage and carry the normal household expenses associated with home ownership; and their willingness to contribute 500 hours of volunteer labour towards building their home or that of another family.

"I've learned that Habitat for Humanity is all about community, helping people and lifting spirits," says Catherine Chauvin, a single mother of three daughters ages 13, 11 and three and one of the families selected for the project. "I think the people involved in the organization have the biggest hearts and I'm moved at seeing how hard they worked. It makes me want to give more back to Windsor."

With 1.7 million Canadian households living in sub-standard housing, the Habitat for Humanity housing program is about home ownership and providing a long-term solution designed to break the poverty cycle. Habitat for Humanity International builds a new home every 24 minutes. More than 60 communities across Canada have taken part in Habitat for Humanity Canada build projects, contributing to this international effort.

"We are proud and honoured to be selected as the Canadian partner city for this special build," said Gerald Sykes, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex. "This project has brought the community of Windsor together to change the lives of six very deserving families as they realize their dream of owning their own home."

President Carter's longstanding work with Habitat for Humanity began in 1984 when he spent a day donating his carpentry skills and manual labour at a work site in Georgia. Since then, he and his wife Rosalynn have been personally involved in the construction of more than 10,000 Habitat for Humanity homes.

Event wide sponsors for the Windsor-Essex JCWP include the Whirlpool Corporation, Lowe's, DOW Chemical Company, Great Lakes Capital Fund and MASCO Corporation. House sponsors for the Windsor-Essex build are The Home Depot Canada/Tembec Inc.; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); Genworth Financial/ MCAP/Mortgage Intelligence; Weyerhaeuser Company; Whirlpool Corporation; and the Fund for Humanity - HFH Windsor-Essex.

About Habitat for Humanity:
Habitat for Humanity is an independent, non-profit housing program dedicated to the elimination of sub-standard and poverty housing by building homes in partnership with families in need. Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 200,000 homes in 100 countries around the world.

Habitat for Humanity Canada was founded in 1985, and more than 30,000 volunteers have built more than 850 homes to date. There are 67 Canadian affiliates in all 10 provinces and the Yukon and Nunavut Territories, 11 campus chapters and 40 ReStores across Canada.

Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex has built 31 houses throughout the Windsor-Essex area.

For more information, visit www.habitat.ca or www.habitatwindsor.org.


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