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World Habitat Day: Support Adequate Housing for People around the Globe


Biology classes teach us that every living organism occupies a habitat; but for many people, a habitat—or an adequate place to live—remains a dream. To draw attention to this concern, the United Nations recognizes the first Monday in October to be World Habitat Day. According to the international human services organization, Habitat for Humanity, this Monday, October 7 “is a time to recognize the basic need for adequate shelter in a world where it is lacking for so many.”


Shelter the World, an international housing ministry dedicated to helping people build their way out of poverty, reports that a startling 1.5 billion people, amounting to one out of every five people living on the planet, lives in inadequate housing or has no housing at all. The chief culprit for this inequity is poverty, but events such as tsunamis, earthquakes, and loss of agricultural lands and water sources can all exacerbate the problem.


This year, the United Nations has chosen the theme of “Urban Mobility” for World Habitat Day because, “mobility and access to goods and services is essential to the efficient functioning of our cities and towns as they expand.” In honoring World Habitat Day 2013, UN Habitat calls upon people everywhere “to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.”


How You Can Participate in World Habitat Day


If you'd like to get more deeply involved in providing adequate housing to the poor, a visit to Habitat for Humanity’s web pages provides opportunities to donate, volunteer, and advocate, as well as to learn more about the causes and remedies to lack of housing. Over the past thirty years, this nonprofit Christian housing ministry has emerged as a world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.