Archives Timeline Express Announcements

1987: Kaw Valley Habitat for Humanity is Founded

Kaw Valley Habitat for Humanity, an affiliate serving Kansas City, Kansas, is founded. Kaw Valley Habitat and Habitat for Humanity/Kansas City launched a joint fundraising campaign in 1989, the first of many collaborations designed to maximize the organizations’ impact.

July 30 - September 21, 1986: Habitat for Humanity International hosts 10th-anniversary in Kansas City

Habitat for Humanity International hosts its 10th-anniversary celebration in Kansas City, a four-day event that begins when the participants in a 49-day,  1,000-mile walk that began in Americus, Georgia, where Habitat for Humanity began, arrive in Kansas City’s Barney Allis Plaza. One of the people who completed the entire journey was 14-year-old Reggie McMorris from Kansas City, whose family lived in one of the houses Habitat built in the Mount Hope neighborhood. Special guests during the celebration included former President and First Lady Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, Kansas Governor John Carlin, volunteers from 12 countries and Habitat for Humanity International co-founders Millard and Linda Fuller.

May, 1983: Sweat Equity is added to Habitat KC model

At a board meeting, HFHKC leaders suggest that, like other Habitat affiliates, they consider requiring potential homeowners to contribute their labor to the construction of their houses—what we now call “sweat equity”—helping to build a sense of investment and ownership in the homes. In July, with support from the Habitat Homeowners’ Association, the board approves this requirement.

April 26, 1983: Construction Volunteers change the future of Habitat KC

Board members discuss the possibility of relying primarily on volunteers for the first time to build a home. Up to this point, HFHKC had used construction professionals to build the houses, with volunteers providing help with painting, finishing, and doing yardwork on the properties. After some successful experiments, this becomes the standard practice and helps HFHKC to keep costs of construction low.

September, 1982: Millard Fuller visits Habitat KC

Millard Fuller, co-founder of Habitat for Humanity International, visits Kansas City to provide feedback on the local affiliate’s progress. He commends the board of directors for making steady progress on building quality homes, and comments on the “spirit of community” he saw in the Mount Hope neighborhood. He also suggests areas for improvement, including keeping construction costs low and the need to find more donors.

June, 1982: Habitat KC Homeowners Association is Founded

Families create the Habitat Homeowners’ Association to establish a sense of community, address issues specific to Habitat families, and communicate concerns and ideas to the HFHKC board of directors. Cindy Middlebrooks was elected the first president of the association in July.

October 25, 1981: Habitat KC completes First Homes

HFHKC celebrates the construction of its first three homes. By the end of the year, the fourth house was almost complete.

August, 1981: Habitat KC hires First Employee


Habitat for Humanity/Kansas City hires its first staff member, Phil Hanson, to serve as a consultant and administrative assistant to John Pritchard.

Summer 1980: Construction is Underway


Construction begins in earnest on the first house. The first few houses cost $40,000 to construct, on average. On December 2, 1980, the family selection committee chooses Aaron and Cindy Middlebrooks as the first Habitat for Humanity/Kansas City family. Initially, families were offered a lease agreement with an option to buy their homes later. The Middlebrooks and the other two families initially selected by H4HKC all opted to purchase their homes less than a year after they moved in.

October 13, 1979: Habitat KC Breaks Ground on First Home


Habitat for Humanity/Kansas City breaks ground on construction of its first three houses. With that groundbreaking, the group takes the first steps toward fulfilling its early goal of building 50 homes in 10 years.