Each year, Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Wisconsin help several hundred low-income families in Wisconsin with safe, decent and affordable housing. While we are quite proud of what has been accomplished, we recognize that with increased collaboration and more state-wide efforts through a State Support organization, we can become an even more powerful force for affordable housing in Wisconsin.
Our mission is to unite Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the state of Wisconsin in a coordinated effort to eliminate sub-standard housing.
The History of Habitat for Humanity in Wisconsin
As the Habitat movement was growing, the Lower Wisconsin River Habitat for Humanity (LWRHFH) in Iowa County was founded in 1983. Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity quickly followed in 1984, and over the next 20 years, more than 42 local affiliates were established in communities throughout the state. Most began as small affiliates, created and run by volunteers, building or rehabbing one home a year. Today our state has 37 affiliates and has added 27 ReStores. Affiliates also run other programs like Critical Home Repair and A Brush With Kindness, which aim at rehabbing and repairing homes.
Our Beginning as the State Support Organization
In 2009, representatives from affiliates throughout the state began meeting to explore creating a statewide support organization to help affiliates build capacity and serve more low-income families. A steering committee of affiliate leaders was formed, and in 2010 Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin was established and its first board of directors elected. Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin is patterned after a successful model of State Support Organizations (SSOs) being utilized in nearly 30 states. The model is having a significant impact, strengthening and supporting the work of local Habitat affiliates.