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We are LUCKY for People Like You

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by thanking our loyal donors, partners, volunteers, supporters, and shoppers 

On St. Patrick’s Day, we want you to know how lucky we are for people like you (our Habitat heroes). When we work together, we offer hard-working families the opportunity to create a healthier and more vibrant future. 

Whether you donate, partner, volunteer, advocate, or shop at our ReStores, you can make a tangible impact that will last for generations. 

Here are a few reasons why your generosity matters so much to our mission to end the affordable housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley: 

  1. In fiscal year 2021, you donated over $3.6 million to build and repair more homes. Read more on our 2021 Gratitude Report. 
  1. You helped us launch our three-year, $28 million campaign to help 100 families here, and abroad, build or repair their very own place to call home. Learn more. 
  1. 6.450 total individual, youth, and corporate volunteer hours were put in at our ReStores and construction sites 
  1. 200+ tons of goods were diverted from landfills through ReStore donations 
  1. 40,886 customers shopped at our ReStore and all the proceeds went back to helping our mission 
  1. And much more! 

 

The housing crisis is ongoing. 2021 is proof, with your support, positive impact can be made in the fight to solve it. Every donation, every volunteer hour, every purchase at the ReStore, every advocacy effort – contributes to helping families live and remain in a safe, decent, and affordable home.  

Recognizing Inspiring Women

As stated in The White House proclamation, “Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to honor the generations of trailblazing women and girls who have built our Nation, shaped our progress, and strengthened our character as a people.” San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat) will celebrate this month by encouraging supporters to nominate an inspiring woman as part of their upcoming Women Build event.

Since 1991, Women Build has brought women and their allies together to raise funds, recruit their friends and build homes side-by-side with those in need of affordable housing. To date, the Women Build event has helped house families in Glendale, Pasadena, Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, Monrovia, and throughout the San Gabriel Valley through volunteering, donations, and advocacy.

Our goal with Women Build is to empower women to help families build strength, stability and independence. We at Habitat have the ability to provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and given these tools, women can succeed in changing their communities.

 

To honor Women’s History Month, SGV Habitat is encouraging supporters to share a story about an inspiring woman in your life through our website (https://sgvhabitat.org/unsung-shero/) before May 6. Or, fill out the form below!

 

 

Who's Your Unsung #SHEro?

Who has pushed you to achieve the impossible? Who has supported you through challenging times? Share her story with us below to be featured on our social media and blog. Fill out the form below by Friday, May 6, 2022, to be considered.
  • Max. file size: 50 MB.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

For more information SGV Habitat Women Build 2022, visit https://sgvhabitat.org/get-involved/womenbuild/

 

National Old Stuff Day

In honor of National Old Stuff day, let’s talk about our ReStores. Our ReStores are filled with both new and gently used items. Where some may see “old stuff” in our ReStores, others see treasures, possibilities, and potential.

San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity has two ReStores to service 400 square miles, with locations in the city of Duarte and Atwater Village. Our ReStores average 30 residential pickups a week, with two teams of experienced drivers working Tuesday through Saturday throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Although our Atwater Village ReStore is the only site that accepts drop-off donations from the public (hours: 9am to 12pm), both ReStores process donation deliveries twice a day.

There are many reasons why people donate their items. Whether you’re leaving the country, moving to a smaller place, helping to empty an estate, or changing up your aesthetic and ready for new furniture our donation coordinators have heard and seen it all. We accept furniture that is free of any damage, appliances that are fully functioning and under 10 years old, tools in working condition and unused building supplies. Many of our ReStore shoppers know that they will likely find items that are gently used and in need of a new home, at a great low price.

As a non-profit organization that offers a “free” pickup service, sometimes donors want us to pick up their items that are beyond repair. Unfortunately, our resources only allow us to pick up items that are without damage. We do not accept any items with discoloration, rips, tears, damage or pet hair. The items we do pick up go straight to our ReStores for resale, so they need to be purchase ready.

We couldn’t achieve our mission without the generosity of our donors and ReStore shoppers. All proceeds from our ReStores go towards our mission of repairing and building homes throughout San Gabriel Valley -building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.

If you’re interested in scheduling a donation pickup for your “old stuff,” call our Donation Coordinators at 626-387-6900, email photos to restoreinfo@sgvhabitat.org or visit us at sgvrestore.org/donation-pick-up-request/.

 

Atwater Village ReStore

5201 W. San Fernando Rd.

Los Angeles, CA 90039

Drop off hours: 9am to 12pm

Store hours: 9am to 5:30pm

 

Duarte ReStore

2215 Huntington Dr.

Duarte, CA 91010

Store hours: 9:30am to 6pm

Your Impact in the First Year of the Expanding the American Dream Campaign

In 2021, you (our partners, donors, supporters, and volunteers) provided homeownership opportunities and critical home repairs to 27 families in the San Gabriel Valley and abroad. This directly impacts the Expanding the American Dream campaign’s goal of transforming the lives of 100 families by 2023. 

The breakdown: 

  • 6 homeownership opportunities provided to local families 
  • 11 critical home repairs for low-income homeowners 
  • 10 homes built internationally   

This could not have been achieved without you. To fund this $28 million campaign, we rely on you (providers and preservers of the American Dream), ReStore purchases and donations, state grants, and mortgage proceeds. This campaign is 100% donor dependent. It is only possible through your generous support year after year. Thank You! 

The Expanding the American Dream campaign is going into its second year in 2022. This campaign is calling attention to the need for affordable housing and raising funds to help families achieve their dreams of homeownership. Running through 2023, it highlights the importance of community and the significant role a safe home plays in helping families thrive. 

“Our goal is to dramatically increase the number of affordable homeownership opportunities in the San Gabriel Valley” says Bryan Wong, Executive Director at SGV Habitat for Humanity. “The need for affordable housing in the area is overwhelming. We aim to make the world a place where all can afford to live—both first-time homebuyers and long-time residents.” 

How You Can Help:

  • Donate to the campaign 
  • Shop at SGV ReStores 
  • Advocate for affordable housing for everyone 
  • Educate yourself on the benefits of affordable housing 
  • Share your support by using the #ExpandingtheAmericanDream hashtag on social media 

Celebrating Habitat History of Hand-Up Model in Honor of MLK Day of Service

Koinonia Farm Koinonia is the Greek word usually translated as “community” or “fellowship.” The farm community emphasizes equality, shared resources, and wise stewardship of land and natural resources.

The story of Habitat for Humanity began at Koinonia Farm, an interracial community farm outside Americus, Georgia, founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar, Clarence Jordan. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Clarence and his fellow Koinonia residents were fiercely committed to the equality of all people and utterly devoted to creating opportunity for all. 

A Rich History 

Built on the idea of partnership housing and born from that vision, we have grown into a global organization driven by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. As part of this effort, in 1990, a small group of dedicated volunteers with a desire to eliminate substandard housing in our community founded San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat). The overwhelming need for housing in our communities has provided SGV Habitat for Humanity with a unique opportunity to change lives in our neighborhoods. In 2021, we made the commitment to serving the housing needs of 100 families over the next three years through the Expanding the American Dream campaign.  

Known for our “hand-up, not a handout” model, Habitat for Humanity homeowners work side-by-side with volunteers and skilled staff to build safe, decent and affordable housing. In addition to new homeownership programs, the organization offers critical home repair services to address safety, accessibility, and deferred maintenance issues to assist low-income homeowners to ensure they can continue to live in a safe and decent home for years to come. 

Homeowner Continues to Impact Her Community 

Billie Shaw, Home Repair recipient

Duarte homeowner, Billie Shaw, was a recent recipient of this program. For 5 years Shaw has been distributing food from a local food bank to homeless encampments in the San Gabriel Valley. While seeking resources to assist the individuals she was feeding she came across Habitat for Humanity, not knowing the blessing we would provide would be for her.   

A few years ago, Shaw’s roof was blown off during a strong windstorm. Without the funds to replace it she suffered from years of water damage, eventually causing portions of the plaster ceilings to collapse. She applied to the critical home repair program and not only was Habitat able to help her put on a new roof, we also painted the house. As part of the repair program Shaw provided a payment she could afford and completed several hours of “sweat-equity” giving back to the organization in the form of volunteer hours. Even though she’s completed her sweat equity she continues to serve the SGV Habitat by spreading the word about our programs and nearby resale store, the ReStore.  

“I just can’t believe this blessing I have received,” said Shaw. “They finished my roof and the next day a huge rainstorm came in. I finally saw the rain outside, but not inside my house. Now I plan to pass it on by telling everyone I can about Habitat for Humanity.” 

Shaw, who served as a nurse at Santa Teresita until the hospital closed and then pursued a career in law enforcement, eventually retiring from the Baldwin Park force, has always been called to serve others. It’s partners like her who embody the essence of Habitat for Humanity’s mission.

How You Can Help 

This coming Monday the US will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which under the King Holiday and Service Act, was transformed into a day dedicated to volunteer service in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. It is the only federal holiday observed as a National Day of Service – a “day on, not a day off.” It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. Problems like affordable housing. On this day we celebrate people like Billie Shaw who gives unto others, even when she needs assistance. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. 

  • Advocate for affordable housing for everyone and read how we continue to build a “Beloved Community” 
  • Educate yourself on the benefits of affordable housing  
  • Help sustain and expand the Healthy Homes initiatives at the federal, state and local levels, including public-private collaborative programs 
  • Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Act and other state and local regulations prohibiting racial discrimination in housing markets 
  • Donate now to show your support to fix the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond 

 

Photo credits: Stephen F. Somerstein—Getty Images

Be Like Elizabeth: The 8-year old girl who donated her savings to help families like hers have a safe and affordable home

 

(left to right) Executive Director, Bryan Wong, Elizabeth, Board President, Christine Silverstein, and Alejandro

Elizabeth, the daughter of San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity homeowners, Alejandra and Gilberto, donated $117 to help families in need of safe, decent, and affordable homes.  

Alejandra, Gilberto, and their four kids, suffered from constant health issues due to the poor conditions of their previous rented home.  

“It was always too cold or too hot. Since we moved to our Habitat home in Pasadena, we have not had to go to any doctor’s visits, other than yearly physicals. None of us got sick and we are so grateful,” said Alejandra. 

Moving into the Desiderio community in August of 2018 changed the family’s lifestyle. According to her family, Elizabeth has always been a giver. From donating her clothes and toys to family and friends in Mexico, to delivering food to the homeless along her commute to school she is always thinking of others.  

After meeting a Habitat supporter, Elizabeth made plans for her and her younger brother, Jonathan, age 6, to save $100 to donate. When the time came, she told her brother, “Don’t worry, I got it!” 

Elizabeth presented a custom hand-painted check of $117 to Executive Director, Bryan Wong, at a donor event located at our Desiderio Homes in Pasadena. The $117 came from her savings, which she saved from birthdays, tooth fairy visits, allowances, and more.  

When asked why she chose to give her savings to Habitat, Elizabeth said that “it will help Habitat families have a better life.” 

Elizabeth’s dream is to be a schoolteacher, specifically, a “compassionate and loving teacher,” or  speech therapist. She credits her elementary school teachers who taught her the valuable lessons of kindness, teamwork, and sharing. 

Elizabeth in her soccer uniform

Jonathan (left) and Elizabeth (right)

Elizabeth is also involved in various extracurricular activities in school. She enjoys playing sports including soccer, basketball, baseball, and swimming. She is planning to join the swim team next year. 

“Elizabeth is a very generous girl with a great heart. She is always thinking of others and how she can contribute to making people smile. This is not the first time she has shown her generosity. I’m so proud to be her mother,” said Alejandra.  

Elizabeth has no intention of stopping her fundraising efforts either and will continue to contribute back to the community! 

Those interested in following her lead and donating, donate $117 like Elizabeth! If your savings are anywhere from $17 to $1117, be like Elizabeth and join our Expanding the American Dream campaign by donating to help families achieve their dream of living in a safe and affordable home. 

Habitat for Humanity surveys homes amid destruction left by deadly earthquake in Haiti

LES CAYES, Haiti (Aug. 17, 2021) ─ Habitat for Humanity crews have fanned out in Haiti’s southwestern peninsula to survey homes in the wake of a powerful earthquake that has killed at least 1,297 people and caused thousands of structures to the crumble to the ground.

The death toll and the number of people injured – estimated at 5,700 as of late Monday – are expected to rise as emergency teams continue to go through the rubble left by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which leveled homes, churches and schools in cities such as Les Cayes, Jeremie and Anse à Veaux.

Officials have documented more than 12,000 homes destroyed or damaged so far, but Habitat expects this figure to rise significantly as more areas are surveyed.

“Our teams have started surveying neighborhoods in the affected areas to help assess damage to homes, in coordination with the government and other humanitarian agencies,” said Jean Frenel Tham, national director of Habitat for Humanity Haiti. “Unfortunately, these structures – many with large openings on the ground floor, little or no reinforcements, and low-quality materials – often suffer serious damage in earthquakes. And, as we saw for far too many families on Saturday, they can collapse entirely.”

Search and rescue crews continue to extract people trapped under rubble, and hospitals are struggling to cope with the surge of injured people. Because of frequent aftershocks, many frightened residents are choosing to sleep outside. Heavy rains associated with Tropical Depression Grace late Monday and into Tuesday, meanwhile, complicated relief and recovery efforts.

“Tragically, thousands of Haitians are once again faced with rebuilding their lives and their homes,” said Ernesto Castro Garcia, Habitat’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We at Habitat are committed to being with them every step of the way. Our priority right now is to complete a thorough assessment of shelter needs in the impacted area and develop response options for the early recovery and reconstruction phases.”

Habitat for Humanity, which began working in Haiti in 1984, has forged strong partnerships with communities in Haiti’s southwest peninsula. Habitat worked with families to complete about 1,200 homes in response to Hurricane Matthew, which hit in 2016. Habitat continues to support construction of affordable housing, including for elderly residents in the area, while also building latrines and water points. Unrestricted tithe funds from San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity donations have supported efforts in Haiti for many years.

Building the Beloved Community

Habitat for Humanity has a vision of a world where we share one humanity, and that’s a world that we believe in and fight for every day.

We are a faith-based organization, but we realize that faith must be coupled with works and action. As we share in the sadness, anger and uncertainty that have rocked communities across the United States — these protests of the systemic and racial injustice that have infused and informed the life of our nation — we recognize that we must do more.

We must create what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the Beloved Community” — a community that includes diversity and allows for tension undergirded by love and leading to transformation. To do so, we must truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We must change. And we must commit to tangible action.

We will do the work in our practices, our programs and our networks that brings equity to our efforts and helps bring justice to the communities in which we work. We will, throughout our ministry, connect issues of racial and social injustice with historic barriers to affordable housing and work to eradicate those barriers.

Historic discrimination in U.S. housing policy — particularly discrimination against Black Americans — is one of the chief drivers of racial inequities that persist today. Organizations like ours that work on housing must understand that history and have it inform our work.

In the tradition of the radical inclusivity that infused our birthplace Koinonia Farm from its earliest days, the leaders of our ministry commit to creating an environment where humility, open communication, dialogue and listening become our standard. In addition to being a space where people of all races, all faiths and all backgrounds come together in common cause, we commit to being actively anti-racist and to affirming, through word and action, that black lives matter and that our communities and systems must further this fundamental truth. We will ensure that our work is infused with courage and accountability so that we make our strong commitment to equity and true community a reality.

The Torch Street Story

Every home has a story. Habitat homes are built by donors, corporate partners, homeowners, and volunteers from the ground up. When completed, these homes transform the lives of the families for generations. Take a look at the progress we’ve made at the Torch Street project in Baldwin Park, the first new construction site and third acquisition-rehab project in the city.

Project Stats: 1 Rehab, Several New Homes

Update – March 23, 2021

It isn’t much to look at right now, but this empty lot is full of potential! This vacant slab of dirt and grass will soon be the foundation for the the hopes and dreams of several families.

Update – March 26, 2021

We were live at the Torch Street project during today’s Facebook Live event!

 

Homes, Communities, Hope, + You

Habitat homeowner Christina tells supporters what having a safe and stable home means for her family. 

When more people get involved – change happens.

As a result of COVID-19, more than 300 million people in 42 states have been asked to “stay at home” — and now more than ever, home is everything.

From May 11-31, San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity has launched the Homes, Communities, Hope + You campaign to ensure that we are able to continue— and accelerate —our work in San Gabriel Valley to ensure that everyone has a decent place to call home. As the economic shocks from this crisis ripple out, the need for affordable, safe, and healthy housing is more apparent than ever.

— We cannot do our work without your help. Habitat is needed now more than ever. And now more than ever, we need you. Here’s how you can help!

  • Get involved on social media
    • Take a selfie like the one on the right with the message “SGV Habitat + ME” on the sign. Use one of the post suggestions below or create your own – and challenge your friends!
      • I’m excited to join #SGVHabitat’s Homes, Communities, Hope + You campaign! I challenge [tag 2-3 friends] to join me in spreading this awesome community. Share your selfie!
      • I’m standing with #SGVHabitat and sharing my selfie to support the idea of Homes, Communities, Hope + You! Let’s flood the internet with positivity and connection during this time!
      • I support Habitat’s mission because I believe that home should be a place of comfort & safety during a time of uncertainty. I challenge you to share your selfie & declare support for Habitat’s Homes, Communities, Hope + You campaign!
      • We can build community during this time, even when we are physically distant. A community centered around hope and connection. Join me in rallying around Homes, Communities, Hope + You!
  • Donate Now
    • Not on social media, but want to make an impact? You can! Click here to donate and help build homes, communities, and hope.

Spreading the word about the need for decent and affordable housing and what Habitat does to fulfill this need is more than important than ever. We can make a difference together – and it starts with YOU!

What happens when ‘stay at home’ means staying in an unhealthy place?

Home is the place to stay safe from a global pandemic. And for many of us, our home also has suddenly become our school, our barbershop, our restaurant, our office, our movie theater. For many, “stay at home” has meant the inconvenience of a changed routine. But for more than 19 million U.S. families sheltering in place, the substandard, overcrowded, or unaffordable housing situations they live with have only increased their feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability.

All of us at Habitat for Humanity know firsthand that better, affordable living conditions lead to improved health and stronger childhood development. We know that they give families the ability — and financial flexibility — to make forward-looking choices. Proper shelter creates jobs, revitalizes neighborhoods, attracts employers, increases consumer spending and government revenues, and lowers the risk of foreclosure, all while bringing transformative benefits to families and developing resiliency in communities.

We are an organization with Christian roots that operates in more than 70 countries around the world and in every state of the U.S. Our vision has always been the same: a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Here at San Gabriel Valley Habitat, with support like yours, we have partnered with more than 200 families who now have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call “home.”

Before this pandemic, the world was already experiencing a housing crisis. COVID-19 has revealed its extent and added to its urgency. Habitat is needed now more than ever. And — now more than ever — we need you.

‘Home has rarely been more of a life-or-death situation.’

— Leilani Farha, U.N. special rapporteur on the right of adequate housing

The scope and impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented. It has led to a near halt of the U.S. economy, with over 20 million people losing their jobs, and the impact will be felt throughout the economy for months and years to come.

While not immediately obvious to some, the pandemic’s effect on housing will be significant and lasting. Based on history, it’s likely that the negative effects will be disproportionately borne by vulnerable communities and low-income individuals. As the economic shocks from this crisis ripple out, these families will be hit hardest. They always are.

Low-income households are particularly at risk because of their economic instability and their concentration in the service industry and other hourly jobs that have some of the highest risks of COVID-19 disruptions. Given that 100% of our homeowners have low incomes, nearly all are first-time homeowners. We have always worked to provide flexibility to homebuyers to ensure long- term success, but as COVID-19 increases the economic need for these families, it also causes us to lose funds that support our operations, including [home builds, home repairs and Habitat ReStore operations].

Many of the families in our current pipeline represent the front-line workers who are fulfilling essential duties during this crisis. These are the individuals bagging groceries, delivering packages, preparing food, and working in hospitals. The uncertainty that so many of us feel today, these families have felt for a lifetime — if not generations.

The need doesn’t go away just because the economy has stalled. In fact – the need is growing.

• Over 500,000 Americans are homeless.
• Forty percent of renters are considered cost-burdened.
• Nearly 6 million Americans live in substandard housing.
• In an estimated 12 million of these households, at least one contributing member works in an at-risk industry.

We, just like the millions who are under stay-at-home orders, are adjusting to this ever-changing situation. Build sites are suspended, Habitat ReStores are closed, and finances are impacted, but our operations continue. Every day, front-line Habitat for Humanity staff members continue to make affordable homeownership a reality for families. They are working virtually to service mortgages and coach homeowners to ensure that they can stay in their homes. They are pivoting homeowner services, education, and financial planning to virtual environments and making payroll to ensure that when our economy reopens, we are prepared not just to continue building, but also to accelerate to meet the increased need for affordable housing.