Each year since 1985, the United Nations has designated the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day. This year, that means October 4. The purpose of the day is to increase awareness about the great need for adequate housing for all.
A focus on grassroots action and uniting people toward a single goal—to eradicate poverty housing—makes World Habitat Day an important day of learning and doing. Habitat for Humanity helps organizations and individuals plan events focused on education, advocacy and fundraising.
World Habitat Day events will be held in six cities in the U.S. during the week of October 3 – 8. Volunteers, including former President Carter and Mrs. Carter and other celebrities, will join Habitat for Humanity families in building and rehabilitating homes in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Annapolis, MD, Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, and Birmingham, AL.
How many people live in unacceptable conditions?
Worldwide, one billion people live in slums and shantytowns. By 2030, that number is expected to double to two billion.
What can we do?
Anyone can participate in local events to bring hope to the 1.6 billion people worldwide who lack adequate shelter.
Plan your own event: Hold a concert, a dance, a yard sale or a home rehab project in your town.
Publicize the issue: Talk about ways to raise awareness and increase involvement in this issue. Write a letter, speak to a group, or just tell a friend about the need for housing in the world today.
Post a photo: The World Habitat Day Photo Wall features pictures of people holding signs that answer the question: “What would you build?”
Ask our elected officials to help: Send an email or make a phone call to voice support for increasing the focus of foreign aid on expanding access to basic shelter and affordable housing at home and around the world.
Good housing for all is good for everyone. It improves the health of children, decreases the crime rate, lengthens the average life span and helps kids stay in school—which improves their chances for full employment as adults. And homeowners are more likely to work toward improving their communities by volunteering and voting.
It’s easy to make a difference in the world on World Habitat Day. Small efforts add up to big changes for impoverished people everywhere.