Meet Our Future Homeowners | Jonathan & Sarah

Jonathan, his wife Sarah, and their three children, baby Adrian, Arianna (8), and Jonathan Jr. (9) have lived in a two-bedroom rental apartment in Chula Vista for the past three years. Arianna and Jonathan, Jr. share a bedroom in the small apartment. Health, safety, and maintenance issues go unaddressed by the landlord. There are no safe spaces for the children to play outside.

Jonathan proudly served in the United States Marine Corps for four years, participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom and earning a variety of medals, ribbons, badges, certificates, and letters in celebration of his exemplary service. For the past seven years, he has worked as a salesman at Anheuser-Busch. Sarah has been a baggage service agent at Envoy Air for the past five years.

Like many parents throughout San Diego, Jonathan and Sarah work hard to give their children the best future possible. Even though they have good, steady jobs, they still need a hand up to have a safe, affordable home they can call their own. And they know that along with that home will come self-reliance, stability, and independence.

They are so pleased to have the opportunity to build and buy the “forever home” they have prayed for, and are grateful for the volunteers and sponsors who are making their dream come true.

Meet Our Future Homeowners | Frank & Angelica

Frank and Angelica have been married for 14 years. They have two beautiful daughters and are expecting a new baby boy in the fall. Frank is a wood finisher for Montbleau and Associates, and Angelica is a stay-at-home mom and recent college graduate. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with a minor in Child Development. Angelica loves taking care of their growing family, and aspires to work in a group home with youth in the child welfare system.

Frank and Angelica have struggled financially over the years with only one income, but their greatest accomplishment has been creating the family they now have. Their sacrifices have allowed their daughters to grow into caring, compassionate, and hardworking individuals. The girls are very creative and enjoy anything that allows them to explore those interests, from drawing to language arts. When asked to describe her family, Angelica says, “We are a loving and united family. We work hard and care about others and try our best to bring light to the world.”

With rent steadily increasing at their apartment, Frank and Angelica felt like they would never get ahead. After their previous landlord sold the property to Habitat, they were thrilled to find out they could qualify for a new home that would be built on the property.

Owning a home will have a huge impact on their lives.  A home means stability; it means no more moving, renting, and overpaying. They will be able to save money for the children’s college funds and have a stable place to call their own. As future Habitat homeowners, Frank and Angelica are looking forward to thriving in life and not just surviving.

Neighborhood Revitalization Critical Home Repair Program

In 2017, through our Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) program, we introduced a Critical Home Repair initiative. The focus of this initiative is on accessibility improvements, mobility modifications, weatherization enhancements, and critical home repairs that are crucial to help families to remain in their own homes and for seniors to age in place.

One of our success stories is with homeowners Marie and Ozell. They have been members of the Logan Heights community for over 40 years. In 1971, Marie was a single mother who had just purchased her first home and began her career at Mercy Hospital. Now, she has retired and lives in that same house where she raised her three children. Today, grandchildren visit and her home is busy with family.

Marie and Ozell first heard about Habitat’s Critical Home Repair initiative through a church member. Their home was in evident need of repairs, and by meeting our qualification guidelines we have been able to address significant health and safety concerns, including lead and asbestos remediation, window replacement, and the addition of two new bathrooms. Repairing Marie’s home will allow her and her family to live a stronger and a more stable life in their beloved community of Logan Heights.

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Thank you to our staff and volunteers for all the hard work and dedication. We could not do this without your help!

BuildOUT – Partnering with San Diego Pride

We teamed up with San Diego Pride to create BuildOUT, a historic event that brought together LGBTQ community members to build homes and bridges. The long-awaited partnership is rooted in our shared values – building community and inspiring hope.

On Saturday, January 27th, 70 Pride volunteers set out to four different locations throughout San Diego County in support of Habitat’s mission. They built on our new construction site on Harrison Street, helped us restore homes in the Logan Heights community, and worked in each of our ReStore locations in Kearny Mesa, National City, and Escondido.

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We’re so excited about our new partnership with San Diego Pride, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to put our vision into action while helping to unite the San Diego community. We hope to continue this success and grow BuildOUT into an annual event with increasing impact.

“Safe, stable, affordable housing is the foundation of thriving individuals, families, and communities,” said Lori Holt Pfeiler, President/CEO of San Diego Habitat for Humanity. “We are honored to walk side-by-side with San Diego Pride and the LGBTQ community to provide opportunities for homeownership for every San Diegan who needs a hand up to build a better future.”

According to San Diego Pride’s Executive Director, Fernando Zweifach López, Jr:

Here are two organizations that most people have never said in the same sentence before, working hand-in-hand to find shared values all while engaging community and building community. It’s a beautiful thing to focus on how two vastly different entities can find common ground … the world needs more of that.

Watch KFMB San Diego’s local news coverage:

Habitat for Humanity exists through volunteer labor and contributions of money, land and materials, including purchases and donations to the ReStore, Habitat’s discount home improvement retail center. Want to get involved? Click the links below:

Donate | Volunteer | ReStore

About San Diego LGBT Pride
Founded in 1974, San Diego LGBT Pride is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is “Fostering pride in and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, locally, nationally, and globally.” www.sdpride.org

 

Guest Post: How To Give Back To Your Community On Easter Sunday

Photo via Pixabay by Congerdesign

Easter Sunday is a great day to bring the community together, and if you’re looking for ways to get new members to attend or just to give back to them, there are several easy DIY things you can do. All it takes is a little creativity and some help from your fellow church members.

Here are some of the best ways to make Easter a fun, engaging time for those around you.

Host a car wash

Invite the community to come out the weekend before Easter and have their car cleaned by church volunteers. Make sure they understand that there’s no catch; simply hand them a card inviting them to come for the Easter service before they leave.

Fill some eggs

Fill plastic eggs with candy and write the name of your church on the outside, then give them to the kids in your congregation and let them hand the eggs out to anyone who might want to attend Easter service. These handmade invitations will go a long way toward bringing in new faces.

Community breakfast

Organize a big pancake breakfast–complete with sausage and juice–for after sunrise service and invite families and the elderly to come and enjoy the service and a nice hot meal. Food is a wonderful way to bring people together!

Easter egg hunt

Get some volunteers from your church to help you dye dozens of eggs and invite the community to come for the hunt on Easter after the service. Even if they don’t attend the actual service, allowing them to come and experience what your church is about will let them see what they’re missing.

Feed the hungry

Either in conjunction with your local shelter or Salvation Army, or just using volunteers from your congregation, organize a big Easter dinner for those who are less fortunate in the community. Serve hot dishes and hand out invitations to the next service.

Think ahead

If you invite several new people to Easter service at your church, follow up with them for the next Sunday. Invite them to a church cookout, or plan a community event that will give them a reason to come back.

Rummage sale

Spring is the perfect time to clean out those closets, so ask church members to dig out some gently used items and hold a rummage sale. Invite members of the community to come and grill some hot dogs for everyone. You can use any cash raised for the church or give it to the charity of your choice.

Author: Paul Denikin

We’d like to thank our guest writer, Paul Deniken. He was inspired to write this post because of his family’s annual Easter traditions.

Each year, they volunteer in the community by devoting time and energy to a service project the whole family can be a part of. Projects in past years have included working with Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up and repairing a neighborhood playground, and building a wheelchair ramp for a neighbor. Paul says, “It is always a rewarding and fulfilling experience to give back to the community and to model that behavior for my children.”

When he’s not busy with projects, he shares his DIY knowledge at DadKnowsDIY.com. Thank you so much Paul!

Camp Habitat

On February 22nd and 23rd, we partnered with State Farm, Head Start, and 81 sixth graders from La Jolla Country Day School to teach youth about the importance of education, fundraising, service, and reflection when giving back to the community.

Each day started with the sixth graders learning about affordable housing, early education, and protecting the home. The students then broke out into teams of ten to build and paint a total of eight wooden playhouses, to be donated to Head Start programs across San Diego County!

Thank you, La Jolla Country Day School sixth graders, for your fundraising contribution of $4,000, and thank you to State Farm who provided a $2,000 grant to make this event possible!

The Charitable Gift Annuity: a Win-Win-Win!

If you could turn one of your assets (cash, stock or property) into quarterly income for yourself or a loved one, receive a significant tax deduction, AND make a tremendous contribution to San Diego Habitat for Humanity all at the same time, would you?

For most individuals over the age of 65 (and even for some much, much younger), Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA’s) offer the opportunity to do just that. CGA’s are a contractual agreement between you and a licensed nonprofit organization that guarantee a fixed income for the remainder of your life, and allow you to take advantage of significant charitable tax deductions.

Meet Jack Snider, San Diego Habitat for Humanity volunteer, donor and tremendous fan of the CGA. Jack has been involved with San Diego Habitat since our beginnings, providing a loan that enabled volunteers to build 10 houses in Tijuana in 1987. Not long after that first investment, Jack volunteered as a driver for the Carter Work Project. He gave tours, shuttled volunteers back and forth to the airport, and delivered supplies.

Fast forward 28 years later, Jack is giving to Habitat in a different way. Because of his firm belief that “everybody should have a home,” he is just about to sign off on his 7th CGA. This will be a 2-life annuity with Jack (age 86) and his daughter (age 41). She will receive a 2.7% return for the rest of her life. The remainder will support Habitat’s global and local efforts to build homes, communities and hope. Jack smiles and says “Rather than leaving an inheritance in one lump sum to my children, it is better for them to have the additional monthly income now. And this way, the money gets used twice!”

To learn more about how a single or double life Charitable Gift Annuity might benefit you, contact Karen Begin at 619-906-4482 or karen.begin@sandiegohabitat.org.

Wish List 2017

Who says that wish lists are only for the holidays? As we enter the new year, we’ve compiled a list of materials and items that would tremendously help us in building homes, communities, and hope in San Diego County. If you or someone you know is looking to donate, please contact our Gifts in Kind Manager, Bridget Strickland, at 619-246-1956 or bridget.strickland@sandiegohabitat.org.

Wish List for Construction:
Note: Equipment can be new or gently used; materials must be new

  • warehouse space for storage
  • portable generator
  • enclosed tool trailer
  • roofing materials
  • fire-rated exterior siding
  • HVAC units
  • flooring – tile or laminate (approximately 1,000 sq.ft. of both required per home)
  • dishwashers
  • garbage disposals
  • range hoods
  • countertops – laminate or solid surface

Wish List for ReStore:

For use by the ReStore:

  • warehouse for storage
  • box trucks
  • fork lifts
  • lighting – commercial exterior

For resale in the ReStore (please see details on  acceptable items):

  • flooring
  • cabinets
  • windows
  • doors
  • outdoor living items (furniture, outdoor kitchens, etc.)
  • pavers
  • fencing
  • paint

Wish List for Office:

  • ergonomic office chairs for average and short heights
  • multi-purpose label makers
  • 8 ½ x 11 copy paper
  • AA & AAA batteries
  • computer desks
  • heavy duty shredder
  • large laminating machine
  • DSLR camera

Wish List for Event Services:

  • champagne donations for Women Build
  • goody bag items for Women Build
  • restaurant gift cards and other raffle items
  • paper goods (hot and cold cups, plates, forks/spoons/knives, napkins)
  • restaurant or catering services for VIP build events

Thank You Thrivent Financial!

We’re excited to share that in 2016, over 335,000 Thrivent members chose to direct Choice Dollars® to more than 32,000 churches, schools and other nonprofits, including San Diego Habitat for Humanity, through Thrivent Choice®.
Based on member recommendations, San Diego Habitat for Humanity received $2,622 in charitable outreach funding in 2016. The Thrivent Choice program helps members of Thrivent Financial make a positive impact in their communities. Thank you, Thrivent, for your generous contributions!

Welcome Yaqoob Family!

Husam and Noor Yaqoob understand what it feels like to live in a community without security, peace and stability. They came to the United States as refugees from Iraq 3 ½ years ago to escape constant chaos, strife and danger. They were not free to practice their Christian faith and it was a period in their lives they will never forget. They are so grateful to be residing in the United States now. “Smelling the fragrance of peace is such a blessing. Unless you lose it, you will not feel how significant it is. We cherish this blessing of being in a safe country.” The Yaqoobs are excited to learn about American culture and see how their family values as well as dedication to strengthening their lives and the neighboring community very much align.

Without Habitat for Humanity, the Yaqoobs know that owning a home would have been unattainable. For the past 3 years, they have been living in a small 2- bedroom apartment in El Cajon, encountering many difficulties with reoccurring pest control problems, noise disturbances, excessive maintenance issues, and an unsafe environment.

Husam has worked in networking and computers for 3 ½ years, already receiving two promotions. Noor received her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Benghazi in Libya, and is now in the process of passing the four required exams here in the U.S. to pursue her pharmacy dream. “Indeed, with faith, perseverance and passion, no desire will fade away,” she says.

Husam and Noor are childhood sweethearts that grew up together playing in Noor’s grandmother’s garden. They now look forward to planting a permanent garden in their new home. As a family, the Yaqoobs like to make big breakfasts together and then go hiking to discover San Diego.

Natalee, age five, is in first grade and has so much enthusiasm for life. She loves to learn and spend time with her new friends. Noor says she never stops talking and teaches them correct pronunciations of words. Natalee enjoys afterschool programs, participating in Spanish, soccer and dance. She was a part of the Heartlight dance group of San Diego performing at the Del Mar Fair, and took piano and violin lessons, a very rare privilege in Iraq. Noor says that like “throwing a coin in a fountain or making a wish upon a star, this is what we hope for with our daughter growing up in America in our family home.”

In Husam’s words, “Becoming a homeowner will offer me serenity and peace of mind. I strive to provide my family with whatever they need emotionally, physically and financially. Most of my everyday hopes, wishes and prayers are addressed to their safety, well-being, contentment, settlement and everlasting continuous love.” And Noor added, “I want to chronicle our story correctly with all the emotion and gratitude that we have for San Diego Habitat for Humanity, all of its volunteers and those who blessed us with a stable and safe life after such turmoil. They have made my daughter and us very happy, and this is erasing all of the bad memories that we have and healing our wounds. We have many family blessings.”

Welcome, Yaqoob Family!