Monday, April 03, 2006

Clarity on Habitat For Humanity

I don’t want to become “that blog that’s always criticizing Habitat.” I had an exchange of emails with Rattler Gator, who has had some problems with HFH, and an anonymous commenter has asked questions about Habitat Beius. I shall attempt some clarity here. For years, Habitat Romania was basically one guy in Beius. I know him slightly and like him. The Habitat teams in Beius all visit the orphanage that my sons come from, and where Ben worked all summer. We went over to see them working on the houses in Mizies, and we ran into them most days in the restaurants. I like them. They’re wonderful. They do good work.

I also get the HFH newsletter “Habitat World.” I used to like it. I like it less every year. It increasingly focusses on public policy advocacy, which suggests to me that the organization’s focus is changing in that direction. I note similar advocacy in my denomination’s mission materials: an outrage that some people are rich, and the same tired solutions straight off the Democratic Party platform.

My conclusion is that HFH is trending from being a Christian ministry to being a nonprofit, like the Red Cross or United Way. That’s entirely respectable, but my interest is waning because of it. If they were advocating conservative nonprofit advocacy it would still bother me, though perhaps I wouldn’t notice it so much.

No comments: