Habitat for Humanity International ( HFHI ), a nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry, was founded in 1976 on the conviction that all of God's children deserve a decent and safe place to live. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat is a proven model successfully enabling more than 1, 000, 000 people worldwide to move from inadequate shelter into simple, decent homes. As a proud affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity has been putting faith into action in our community since 1986, partnering with hard-working families to build more than 300 homes in the City of Richmond and the counties of Ameila, Charles City, Chesterfield, Henrico and New Kent. Using the theology of the hammer, Richmond Habitat reestablishes in their lives the hope and dignity that poverty housing strips away. The fruitfulness of the Habitat model here in Richmond and around the world depends on an intricate balance of the three main elements of the Habitat model homeowner, volunteers and donors. Much like a three-legged stool, all of these elements must be equally balanced for the model to be successful. Homeowners are the critical first leg of the model. Driven by the vision of a better future, Habitat families summon the discipline and tenacity Habitat demands of homeowners. Volunteers are the second essential leg of the model. They put aside their remote controls for a chance to get in the game, trading their tennis racquets for paint brushes. Volunteers pass on a tee time to swing a hammer and help a neighbor. keep construction costs low by providing free labor and services. More than 34, 000 volunteers have built with Richmond Habitat since 1986 ; that's over 68, 000 hands that have touched the lives of Richmond families.