Habitat Metro Denver’s First Tithe: Nicaragua 1985

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is committed to making an impact on affordable housing both locally and globally, and we’ve been doing it for decades. That’s why tithing—designating a portion of our local resources to help support Habitat’s global work—is something we’ve done since 1985…almost as long as our organization has been around.

Habitat Metro Denver has been building and preserving affordable homeownership since 1979, and we’ve served more than 950 local families in that time. But what many people don’t know is that we’ve also invested more than $3 million into Habitat’s global work, allowing our local affiliate to serve an additional 950 families around the world.

The first country Habitat Denver tithed to was Nicaragua back in the mid-1980s. It was there that Ray Finney, Habitat Denver’s former president, led a team from Denver for our affiliate’s first Global Village Trip. The team spent a week constructing three very simple homes that were just 12-by-24 feet, and consisted of a living area, two bedrooms and a kitchen.
“This was a very eye opening trip,” shared Ray. “These Habitat homes are modest, but they will help improve the health and stability of people.”

Even today, the solutions needed to support affordable housing look very different from one country to the next. Many international Habitat affiliates provide a broad array of services that go beyond building homes, including micro-finance loans, water and sanitation products, and programs that support orphans and vulnerable children.

We’re proud to have invested in Habitat’s work in 40 countries around the world, and are currently partnering with six highly impactful affiliates, including Habitat Nepal, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Cambodia, Jordan, and Nicaragua.

Sita’s Habitat Story 

“Without Habitat support and willingness to help, my family would not imagine building a house with my meager income.”

Sita could only watch as her family home turned into a pile of rubble, when a massive earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. Sita, her 17 and 15 years old son and daughter whom she has been taking care of, after the death of her husband, who died in a tractor accident 7 were forced into a refuge shelter after the earthquake. Sita works as a farm hand and sometime her son, Sushant who is studying in a government school helps her with farming during his leisure time to support the family. Sita partnered with Habitat’s Nepal Earthquake Assistance Project to build a new home for her and her family. Sita’s new home consist of 2 bedroom. It’s a load bearing earthquake resilient building, made of mud, rebar, cement, stone and bricks with CGI sheets for roofing.

Lemlem’s Habitat Ethiopia Story

“This house helped us improve our education!”

Lemlem and her two teenage daughters used to live in a dilapidated house that had a dusty floor and a leaky roof. Their housing conditions were so bad that one side of their house was on the verge of collapsing, putting all of their lives at risk. As a daily laborer who earns $40 USD per month, Lemlem was doing her best to provide for her daughters so that they could attend school. But her salary was barely enough to cover basic needs, let alone home repairs. That’s when they partnered with Habitat Ethiopia to completely renovate their house. Today, Lemlem and her daughters are thriving in their Habitat home that’s safe, healthy and has quiet space for them to focus on their studies.