What is the mission of Shelter For Life International (SFL)?

Where does SFL work?

SFL's international headquarters is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Currently, SFL serves in Afghanistan, Liberia, Senegal, Sudan, and Tajikistan. In past years, SFL has served other countries including Angola, Burundi, Honduras, India, Iran, Kosovo, Macedonia, Indonesia, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United States, and Western Sahara.

What kind of projects does SFL implement?

SFL seeks to meet the shelter needs of people affected by conflict and disaster by enabling them to rebuild their communities and restore their lives. In order for communities to become sustainable, SFL projects consist of integrated construction and community development activities. Construction programs include new shelters, schools, clinics, and infrastructure. Whenever possible, construction projects are implemented with grassroots community development programs focusing on community health, economic development, community projects, and local capacity building.

fam in front of house construction

How many years has SFL been operating?

SFL was first registered in Pakistan in 1984 as Shelter Now International. Shelter Now International was registered as a US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1991. The current name of Shelter For Life International was adopted in 2002. More information is available on our Background page.

Is SFL a Christian ministry?

Yes. SFL is a Christian humanitarian organization that exists to demonstrate the love of God to people affected by conflict or disaster through integrated construction and community development programs. Our faith is the motivation for the work that we do. SFL seeks to hire committed Christian believers to staff international headquarters and country leadership positions. SFL is also a member of the Association of Evangelical Relief and Development Organizations (AERDO).

All of SFL's aid and program benefits are offered without regard to race, ethnicity, politics, and religion. Adherence to the Christian faith is never a condition for those in need to receive the benefit of our programs.

How does evangelism fit into SFL's programs?

SFL is committed to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom so we may be instrumental in seeing people's lives transformed, but we believe that SFL is called to demonstrate the gospel and the love of God primarily through our tangible work to poor, marginalized, and displaced people. Therefore, the mission of SFL does not include traditional evangelism, church planting, or similar activities.

SFL obeys the laws of the countries in which we serve, without hidden agendas. We do not engage in activities that could compromise our integrity or put our colleagues, national workers, or programs at risk. This also means that we do not engage in overt evangelism or preaching where such activities are not allowed. It does not mean, however, that God cannot work through us to demonstrate His love to those we serve or that they cannot experience God's grace through what we do and who we are.

SFL understands that all Christians, in every occupation and place of residence, are at times called to talk about their personal faith with others. SFL staff are permitted and encouraged to discuss their faith respectfully and appropriately within their interpersonal relationships developed over the course of living and working in the community.

What is SFL's connection to Shelter Now International?

SFL was originally registered as Shelter Now International. In 2002, SFL adopted its current name of Shelter For Life International, Inc. in part to avoid confusion with a German-based organization of the same name. More information is available on our Background page.

Where does SFL get its funding and what is its annual budget?

SFL receives funding from a variety of sources including governments, businesses, churches, private organizations, schools, and individuals. Please refer to our financial statements for more details.

How do I know that my donations are going where SFL says they are going?

SFL recognizes that donors trust us to use their donations in the manner represented in SFL fund-raising materials or as specified by the donor. As part of its commitment to demonstrating integrity, SFL became a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) in 2003. As a member, SFL has committed itself to ECFA's standard for fundraising which requires that "all statements made by the organization in its fundraising appeals about the use of the gift must be honored by the organization. The donor's intent is related to both what was communicated in the appeal and to any donor instructions accompanying the gift." In addition, SFL's finances are also audited annually by an independent accounting firm.

Can I donate food, clothes, or other supplies?

Generally, the cost of shipping food, clothes, and other supplies to a country outweighs the actual value of the gift. SFL always seeks to acquire materials within the country it serves in order to benefit the local economy. Material gifts are often better directed to other charities that operate local programs in the donor's home area.

Where can I find information about working or volunteering for SFL?

Details regarding employment, volunteering, internships, and other human resource information can be found on our Serve page.

How can I contact SFL?

We truly desire to connect with you and find out how you might partner with Shelter For Life.  Please visit our Contact Us page for details.