The History of Habitat for Humanity Evansville

Habitat for Humanity is founded in Americus, Georgia

Millard and Linda Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing” which later formed into Habitat for Humanity. Present at the first Habitat for Humanity formation meetings were Jim Perigo and Jim Prickett, who then go on to form Evansville’s Habitat affiliate in 1984.

Evansville natives apply for Habitat for Humanity affiliate status
Bobbi Hoy, Richard Schechter, Jim Perigo, and others worked through the Council of Churches organization until they received affiliate status from Habitat for Humanity International.
First house built
Construction began on a four-bedroom home at the corner of Cross and Governor Streets in 1983 and completed the following year. Jim Perigo was acting director as well as a construction supervisor. Due to a lack of volunteers and carpenters, word spread through radio and various churches until the home was completed in April.
Second house completed

Constructed by a group of United Church of Christ churches, the second house had been completed.

First full-time director hired
Jay Hartzler, of Harrisonburg Virginia, came on a one-year assignment from the Mennonite Church Board of Directors. Eight homes had been completed by this time.
Twelve homes completed

Volunteers have worked many hours to make this possible.

First one-week Blitz Build of 20 homes
This broke the record for most houses built in a week at that time.
Permanent Wednesday volunteer work crew established

Volunteers decided to meet every Wednesday to work on the homes.

Second one-week Blitz Build of 26 houses
Constructed in the Old Erie Canal Neighborhood, breaking the record once again.
150th Habitat home completed
The number reached to 165 homes completed by the end of 1999.
Third one-week Blitz Build of 26 houses
Built in the Culver Elementary School area, bringing total homes built to 167
Perigo-Prickett Society established

The society named after Jim Perigo and Jim Prickett who helped establish Habitat for Humanity of Evansville as well as played significant roles in the founding of Habitat for Humanity International in the early 1980s. The Perigo-Prickett Society recognizes donors who have remembered Habitat for Humanity of Evansville in their estate plans or made contributions to the Habitat for Humanity of Evansville Endowment Fund with the Vanderburgh Community Foundation. For more information on the Perigo-Prickett Society, visit their website.

First Women’s Build takes place
Habitat’s National Women Build program recruits, educates and inspires women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities.
Evansville Fire Department builds home to honor fallen comrades from 9/11
The home was completed one year to the date of the fatal attack.
Completion of the 250th home
Habitat volunteers and members worked hard to complete the 250th home.
Habitat for Humanity of Evansville announces Operation Home Again

The tornado of November 2005 destroyed 300 homes and killed 23 people. Operation Home Again rebuilt 60 homes for victims and was completed in 2006.

First Federal Savings Bank receives grant to assist Habitat for Humanity of Evansville with Operation Home Again
$60,000 was awarded to Habitat for the project. 27 homes were built in the New Haven subdivision. The neighborhood was named ‘New Haven’ when fourth-grader Julia Russ won Habitat’s contest in April of 2006.
First Green Build

Habitat for Humanity of Evansville partners with Alcoa, Integra, Toyota, Vectren, and VPS Architecture as the Green Team.

Shadewood Place construction begins
Vacant warehouses were demolished on Shadewood Avenue in early 2010 to make room for 19 Habitat homes. 6 houses were dedicated by the end of the year.
Transforming Lives Changing Neighborhoods Campaign begins
The campaign kicked off with the goal of building 62 homes by the end of 2018.
500th Habitat home completed!

The 500th Habitat home was completed in December of 2018! Of the 1250+ Habitat affiliates across the nation, only 25 others have accomplished this feat.

Construction of St. Theresa Place begins
On August 10, 2020, Habitat broke ground on St. Theresa Place, a 14-home, single-family Habitat subdivision located on the city’s north side in the Diamond-Stringtown Neighborhood, on the site of the former St. Theresa campus.