Millard and Linda Fuller
The idea that ultimately became Habitat for Humanity first grew from the fertile soil of Koinonia Farm, a community farm outside of Americus, Georgia, founded by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. On the farm, Jordan and Habitat’s founders Millard and Linda Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side-by-side (sweat equity) with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses for themselves. The homes would be built at no profit and sold to the homeowner with a no-interest loan. The house payments of the new homeowners would be combined with donations from supporters to provide funds for building more houses. In 1976, Habitat for Humanity formed its headquarters in Americus, Georgia with Habitat for Humanity International being formally incorporated under the laws of the state of Georgia in 1977.
Recognizing the need for adequate shelter locally, in 1993 the Rev. Dr. Arthur Preisinger, Paul Bonner, and Gene Schmidt joined forces to establish the Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity affiliate, and also agreed to become GVHFH’s first Board of Directors. Since then, GVHFH has partnered with more than 26 homeowners to build better lives for themselves and their children by providing decent, affordable housing.
In 2014, GVHFH opened the Habitat Store – a volunteer-run home improvement store located at 256 W. Court Street in Seguin, Texas. The Habitat Store sells new and gently used donated items such as home décor and furnishings, appliances, lawn and garden items, building materials, and more at prices significantly less than similar products at traditional retail stores. Since the opening of the GVHFH Store, the proceeds have enabled GVHFH to build at least two homes per year for partner families willing to work side-by-side with Habitat volunteers.