Jim's Open Road

JIM PATE

Executive Director
Habitat For Humanity

“It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, none of that stuff matters. We can all agree on one thing and that's that everybody ought to have a decent place to live.”

INTERESTS:

Engineering Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Community Culture Dedication Determination Inspiration Perseverance Pressure Values

TAGS:

building, differences, expectations, hope, justice, law, lifestyle, loss, New Orleans, parents, rebuilding, the system

BIOGRAPHY:

Jim Pate, executive director of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, has dedicated himself to rebuilding New Orleans. Before that, he was practicing law, and trying to pursue the American dream. However, he found a flaw in the law system. "Instead of trying to achieve justice here, we're trying to achieve the right result. You start saying, ‘no, what we're trying to achieve is a bunch of your money to pay the client.' It's the nature of the system, but it's something that I didn't want to participate in anymore." In 1984, the Methodist Habitat affiliate was founded and Jim was asked to be the house leader. He's been involved with building homes ever since. "We call it Infectious Habitatis. You get kind of inspired by it; you meet the families, and you hear their stories. We dedicate one of these houses and that family gets the key. The sponsors and volunteers are there too. If everybody's not crying, I don't think it's a good dedication."

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