Jimmy Carter’s impact on Omaha Habitat for Humanity

Although Carter never came to Omaha, his impact is felt by workers and the homeowners who benefit.
Jimmy Carter never visited Omaha Habitat for Humanity, but the impact he had on the organization and the community it serves shows every day.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 5:27 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Amanda Brewer proudly showed 6 News a picture taken 25 years ago. She stood on the left, next to Roslyn and Jimmy Carter, with Amanda’s mother on the end.

At the time, Brewer was a volunteer with Habitat, working alongside the Carters in their hometown of Plains, Georgia.

“It was really an honor to get to meet him and get to hear him speak most of the time,” Brewer said. “He was inspirational and he really could have everyone understand his message.”

Fast-forward to today, and Brewer is now Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s chief executive officer. The Nebraska native is saddened by the news about the former president.

“President Carter is an inspiration to me because he really believed that everyone deserves a chance,” Brewer said.

Although Jimmy Carter never came to Omaha for Habitat, his legacy, his advocacy and his mission remain the driving force in all the good they do here locally, including a home under construction off Sorensen Parkway.

“President Carter’s legacy will always live on,” Brewer said. “A lot of people think he founded Habitat for Humanity. He didn’t, but he made it a name that everybody knows.”

The local organization says since 1984 it’s helped nearly 2,000 Omaha families realize the American dream of owning their own home.

The homeowners provide what is called “sweat equity,” meaning they perform hundreds of work hours, hammering nails, drilling holes and painting what becomes their own house. They also receive low-interest mortgages.

“One way for everyone to have a chance is through home ownership, and I think that’s why that cause, our cause, is so important to him,” Brewer said. “He could see its impact. That’s truly transformational and life-changing.”

Inside the Omaha headquarters, this quote is etched on the wall, from Jimmy Carter himself -- a daily reminder of what it means to have a servant’s heart, to those who work here:

Habitat for Humanity of Omaha has a goal this year of helping 100 families buy a home.