Habitat for Humanity has its roots in Koinonia Farm, founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. Millard Fuller graduated from University of Alabama before building a successful business in Montgomery. He later connected with Jordan, and together they developed the concept of “partnership housing.” This led to the creation of Habitat for Humanity International in 1976.
Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa began in 1987 through the efforts of Hank Hawkins, a friend and classmate of Fuller's at the University of Alabama. Our first office was rent-free space provided by Covenant Presbyterian Church. The affiliate was built on the grassroot efforts of local volunteers committed to building simple decent homes for families in need.
In recent history, Habitat Tuscaloosa had built about one house per year. The April 27th tornado created significant need and opportunity for affordable housing in the community. On June 1, Bob Johnson became the Executive Director, after having served for many years on staff at the affiliate that was ground zero for Hurricane Katrina. Several new staff members were brought on board to strengthen our ability to respond to the disaster. On July 5, construction began on our first post-disaster house. By November 1, we had more than 2,500 volunteers and were well underway on 6 houses for tornado impacted families, as well as serving 2 families in need of home repair.
Habitat Tuscaloosa is poised to play a critical role in rebuilding a better, stronger Tuscaloosa.