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

 

Habitat for Humanity’s Most Famous Volunteer

Happy President’s Day to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter 

In celebration of President’s Day, we’d like to acknowledge the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. James (Jimmy) Earl Carter, Jr., has always had a voice for affordable, decent housing for all.  

In March of 1984, President Carter resonated with Habitat’s mission of helping families achieve their dream of homeownership when he jogged by the New York City Habitat build and thought to himself, “Rosalynn and I should come up and give them a hand.” 

 

His Deep Commitment and Value Alignment 

President Carter and Mrs. Carter realized Habitat’s mission aligned with their values – they understood the need for families to have a stable, affordable foundation to grow. With this, President and Mrs. Carter formed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and have been building to improve homes through the Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter Work Project. 

Although Carter is most known in the world for his notable accomplishments as the President of the United States, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Governor of Georgia, and more, in Habitat’s world, President Carter is known as our most famous volunteer.  

Over the course of 30 years, President Carter has inspired millions of people in 14 countries while working alongside more than 104,000 Habitat volunteers to build, renovate and repair 4,390 homes.  

“We have the ambition to share some of our good fortune with others,” Carter says. 

 “That’s one of the most difficult things in life: to cross that chasm between well-off people and families that don’t have a decent home. That’s one of the things Habitat has given to us: an ability to share, side by side, building a home with families that have never had a decent place to live.” 

A fact of Carter’s commitment

Carter suffered a fall in his Georgia home that led to 14 stitches and a visibly black eye. Despite his injuries, he traveled to Nashville to help rally volunteers during the 36th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity. 

We are honored and grateful for President Carter and Mrs. Carter’s continued partnership and support. You can add to their mission of life-changing work by volunteering, donating, or shopping at San Gabriel Valley Habitat ReStores. 

The Impact of a Community Like Builders’ Club

Learn why our Builders’ Club members give monthly to make a difference all year round 

When like-minded givers come together to support affordable housing with their monthly donation, a community is born. The Builders’ Club community is a passionate and determined group of monthly givers on a mission to end the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley region. 

Thank you to our Builders’ Club members who have committed to make a difference all year round. You’ve put your name alongside other members who believe affordable housing should be available for everyone.  

You know with every monthly donation you are: 

  • Helping us build and repair more homes 
  • Altering the trajectory of families’ lives 
  • Improving the health and wellness of families 
  • Doubling the chances of family members attending college 
  • And more! 

Meet some current Builders’ Club members and learn why they give monthly. 

Donor Feature: Nick 

“As a SoCal resident, I can’t imagine living through COVID in an overcrowded, overpriced, and unsafe apartment. Donating $10 every month seems like a small sacrifice if it allows a family to experience the safety and security of becoming homeowners. I am proud to be a member of Builders’ Club!” – Nick

Donor Feature: Kathyjo 

“I am honored to be a member of the Builders’ Club. To work alongside and also be a member teaches my family the importance of giving back. As a family, we annually pick a cause to donate to knowing how fortunate we are to see the results locally in our community. During the current state of affairs we are currently experiencing, we feel helping others and giving back is the right thing to do.” – Kathyjo 

Donor Feature: Anthony 

“I am honored to partner with San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. The work that this organization does in our community is instrumental. The Builders’ Club is a tangible way for me to show my ongoing support. I am grateful for all those working with this organization, for their dedication to the enduring mission of making affordable housing a reality for all of our brothers and sisters in the San Gabriel Valley.” – Anthony 

Donor Feature: Tammy 

“My monthly donation as a Builders’ Club member is the equivalent of skipping one monthly dinner delivery and it helps families to become homeowners. I’m happy to be a Builders’ Club member!” -Tammy 

Donor Feature: Lucy 

“Donating to families that have the opportunity to receive homes locally is such a blessing to me. I was taught as a small child to give to others and lend a helping hand is a gift from God. It was an easy choice for me to make a monthly commitment to become a Builders’ Club member. I hope by sharing this example, it will encourage other young members to do so as well.” – Lucy

Donor Feature: Scarlet and Bella 

“As a family we collectively pick a nonprofit to donate to. I personally see people that do not have homes and families that do without. When I found out SGV Habitat provides homes for families locally, I knew that supporting our community was the right thing to do.” – Scarlet 

“I donate to SGV Habitat because I like to help children and families. I was so excited to learn that Habitat provides homes for local families, it made my choice to give very easily.” – Bella 

 

This month, we are looking to add more loyal supporters to the club during our 2022 Winter Membership Drive.  

By joining the Builders’ Club during the month of February (depending on your monthly contribution), you can also receive exclusive SGV Habitat branded items, such as a reusable shopping bag, coffee cup or t-shirt! Become a Builders’ Club member with your monthly gift today.  

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 

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.

3 Reasons Affordable Housing Creates a Better World 

A house is not just a house, it is a home – a place that shelters, protects, and nurturesIt offers a safe space for the people inside to thrive and supports their personal and professional development. 

We believe affordable housing is not a hand out. It’s a hand up. It gives families’ the ability to reimagine their future without the high cost of rent.  

In San Gabriel Valley, the need for affordable housing is apparent. The cost to rent or purchase housing has become less affordable for millions of Californians. What needs to be known is the impact affordable housing can make to families and the community. 

Affordable Housing is Great for Kids 

Stable, affordable housing is important for children’s future. A study done by Boston College and the MacArthur Foundation detailed how poor quality housing is tied to children’s emotional and behavioral problems.  

The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported poor housing quality and residential instability are the strongest predictions of behavioral problems among low-income children.  

Addressing housing affordability is the most cost-effective way of lifting people out of poverty, for reducing childhood poverty and increasing economic mobility, says Sarah Mickelson, senior director of public policy at the National Low Income Housing Coalition.” 

For children, a stable place to call home gives them an adequate space to study and the possibility to make a better future for themselves. With a room for a small desk and parent’s ability to spend more time with their children – all of these benefits can lead to a happier and healthier family. 

It Builds Sustainable Communities 

The need for affordable housing is imperative, not only for families who rely on housing, but neighborhoods. Having affordable housing developments in neighborhoods bring a positive impact on the surrounding communities. SGV Habitat works with city governments, housing organizations, and community advocates to create communities for families to thrive in.  

Studies have shown affordable housing uplifts residents, encourages social connection, reduces overcrowding, increases adjacent property values, attracts businesses and jobs, and lowers crime rates. 

There are many economic benefits of affordable housing. From increased spending, increased hiring, and increased taxes and revenue for local governments, affordable housing can help communities thrive as well. When families worry less about making rent, those living in affordable housing can spend more on more nutritious food and other essential items. Increasing the buying power for low-income families can mean steady income for local businesses, more job creations, and economic growth. This is proven as more and more shops, restaurants and healthcare facilities open where the NHP Foundation has properties. 

Promotes Diversity 

Affordable housing developments encourage diversity by creating communities where people of different cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds can unite. Diverse communities increase the knowledge of cultural sensitivity, fairness, and understanding of different backgrounds – ultimately creating a better community overall.  

“Community-building investments that help neighbors from diverse backgrounds overcome their fears and suspicions and build positive social relationships across racial and ethnic lines may also help strengthen and stabilize newly diversifying neighborhoods and enable residents to enjoy the potential benefits,” according to a study by the Urban Institute. 

By supporting affordable housing in your community, you will be helping a family finally buy their first home, children being able to study in their own rooms, build a stronger and more vibrant community, and much more. 

How You Can Help 

  • Advocate for affordable housing for everyone 
  • Educate yourself on the benefits of affordable housing  
  • Help sustain and expand the Healthy Homesinitiatives at the federal, state and local levels, including public-private collaborative programs 
  • Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Actand 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 

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!

 

How Housing Affects Educational Outcomes

Academic Success Begins At Home

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a supportive and stable home can attribute to the educational success of children.  When families spend less on housingthey can invest in themselves. This includes investing in higher educationLong-term career growth, social mobility and finances can help lift the entire family into prosperity. 

No matter one’s age, having a decent place to call home – a place to study and think – a place to feel secure – can lead to a more successful future. 

Low Quality and Unaffordable Housing Affects Children and Adults 

Frequent or unplanned moves because of unsafe situations, rising housing costs, or other difficulties negatively impact school performance. In some cases, families are forced to move to undesirable areas with low-performing schools. These situations create cycles of instability that easily permeate into adulthood. 

For children, moves can interfere with the development of personal relationships, resulting in the lack of a support system in schoolAs friends are vital to school-age children’s healthy development, children who lack friends can suffer from emotional and mental difficulties. Establishing roots in the community allows children to develop friendships, ultimately increasing their empathy and compassion. 

Parents paying too high a percentage of their income for housing often find themselves making tough choices. The decision between making rent, paying for education, or having safe transportation can cause stress, depression, and hopelessness. With affordable housing, adults spend less time worrying about finances and more time invested in their children’s education as well as their own.  

In a 2016 report “Impacts of Habitat for Humanity Homeownership,” researchers from the Wilder Foundation determined that almost two-thirds of Habitat homeowners in Minnesota say they feel more confident about their ability to fund their kids’ college education. Having a stable place to call home provides the entire family with a secure environment to grow and excel in life. 

A Hardworking Family Gets the Space They Need to Thrive 

Azat and her children (Kristina pictured) once lived in an overcrowded apartment sleeping cramped on one couch. After moving into their Habitat home in Glendale, Kristina and Arthur now have the rest and personal space they need to focus on school. 

Everybody is happy, and I feel more secure. The kids feel free-er to focus and learn. Their grades have improved!”

Today, the family is thriving in their safe and stable home. Thanks to the extra space, they can stay in touch with their Armenian roots – hosting family members and sharing dishes with their community of friends. This is all thanks to San Gabriel Valley Habitat supporters and donors, just like you! 

How You Can Help 

  • Advocate for affordable housing with SGV Habitat and Habitat for Humanity International 
  • Support the #CostOfHome Campaign 
  • Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Actand other state and local regulations prohibiting racial discrimination in housing markets 
  • Donate to show your support to fix the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond 
  • Sign up for SGV Habitat’s e-newsletters by scrolling to the bottom of sgvhabitat.org
  • Share this article and educate others on the importance of affordable housing