Building Opportunity for Veterans

This Memorial Day, we had a special group of volunteers on the job site in Imperial Beach. Veterans were invited to build alongside corporate human resources executives to have honest, open, and real discussion about the truths of transition from military life to the corporate workforce. HR professionals from BAE Systems, San Diego Gas & Electric, The Home Depot, The San Diego Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Encore Capital came together with veterans to communicate about barriers to employment. The group got to know each other by working together on some critical repairs at the home of a local veteran. Al Lejarde, Habitat for Humanity homeowner, board member, and staff member at Courage to Call, facilitated the lunchtime discussion that brought great insight into the hiring process. It was a unique experience that built comradery, bridges, and opportunity. Thank you to all who participated!

Sponsor Spotlight: Realty Income

Last month, San Diego Habitat for Humanity and Realty Income Corporation came together to build homes for hardworking San Diego families in need of safe, affordable housing.

Realty Income is dedicated to bettering the local community where their employees and shareholders live and work through their Corporate Social Responsibility Program. 120 employee volunteers, including Chief Executive Officer of Realty Income, John P. Case, helped install siding, roofing, permeable pavers, paint, plant landscaping and build fencing at the final two homes of Habitat’s Foundation Lane Community in El Cajon.

In addition to donating time and manpower, Realty Income donated $125,000 to SDHFH and surprised six SDHFH partner families with gift cards to purchase furnishings for their new homes.

Thank you, Realty Income, for supporting SDHFH’s mission to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope.

Sponsor Spotlight: Encore Capital Group

On September 26, a total of 75 volunteers from Encore Capital Group in San Diego came together with San Diego Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for a family in need in El Cajon.

The effort was part of the international finance company’s third annual Global Volunteer Day, with more than 400 employees across the United States and around the world building homes with Habitat for Humanity.

“Strengthening, and in this case, helping literally to build communities, is one of the goals of Encore’s corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Sheryl Wright, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at Encore Capital Group. “We are pleased to support Habitat for Humanity in its efforts to provide housing for families in need through significant cash donations and volunteer hours.”

Encore’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, launched in 2013, focuses on economic empowerment and strives to help improve communities through better education, job training and basic support services.

“When you provide a family an opportunity to purchase their own home, you transform that family for generations to come,” said Lori Holt Pfeiler, President/CEO of San Diego Habitat for Humanity. “We bring hardworking families, dedicated volunteers, and generous sponsors together to build simple, decent, safe and affordable housing for local families in need. This mission is possible because of the support of great partners like Encore Capital, and we are so grateful that they are joining us once again toward this goal.”

Sponsor Spotlight: Bank of America

On October 10th, 25 Bank of America employee volunteers gathered to build a new homes on Foundation Lane in El Cajon, the final two in the second phase of Habitat’s 10-home community.  Bank of America is committed to strengthening local communities through better housing opportunities, and has supported Habitat’s work for more than 25 years.

This home build is part of the second Global Build Week, during which Bank of America and Habitat for Humanity partnered to address affordable housing challenges, helping families build homes and achieve home ownership in more than 60 communities across the U.S., as well as 7 international cities including London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Jakarta, Manila, Toronto, and Mumbai.

“Access to affordable, stable housing is foundational to a family’s long-term financial stability and growth,” said Rick Bregman, San Diego Market President, Bank of America. “We’re pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity and to help families like the Muñozes achieve homeownership and build a stronger, more vibrant community.”

The partnership with Habitat for Humanity is just one element of Bank of America’s broader commitment to help people live better financial lives, and support stronger communities and stable economies.

This year, Bank of America distributed $320,000 in community development funding to San Diego nonprofits to help individual and families regain and maintain financial stability through access to affordable housing, emergency housing and mortgage training.

To learn more about Bank of America’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs and practices, please visit and follow the company on Twitter @BofA_News and @BofA_Community.

SDHFH builds 4 Houses in 5 Days in El Cajon

We did it!  San Diego Habitat for Humanity’s seventh Home Builders Blitz took place last month In partnership with Balfour Beatty Construction, Clark Construction, McCarthy Builders, and RQ Construction, we built four homes – from the ground up – in five days.

These homes are part of an expansion of the Foundation Lane community in El Cajon, built in 2009 with generous support from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.  SDHFH was honored to have substantial financial support, once again, from The Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Lowe’s, The City of El Cajon, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for this second phase of the community.

Habitat’s partner homebuilders leveraged their relationships with subcontractors to arrange for donated labor from hundreds of skilled workers all week.  Building materials and event support donated by over 100 local and national vendors such as James Hardie, Simpson Strong Tie, Helix Electric, Whirlpool, Valspar, GB Sales, and Pepsi made the event possible.

A visit from NASCAR Champion and El Cajon native, Jimmie Johnson, and his lovely wife, Chandra, really made the week unforgettable.

There were so many event and material sponsors that made this event a success.  As always, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity and dedication of our supporters in helping to make the homeownership dreams of our partner families a reality!

To watch more news footage from the event, please visit our
YouTube Channel.

31st Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn,  build and repair homes in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas

For more than three decades, the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project has served as a catalyst for raising awareness about the need for improved access to affordable housing by empowering people to bring hope, stability and housing solutions to their communities. To date, more than 88,000 volunteers have built, renovated and repaired 3,833 homes in 14 countries during the previous 30 annual events, shedding light on the role decent housing provides families in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Hosted jointly by Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and Trinity Habitat for Humanity in Fort Worth, more than 5,000 volunteers joined the Carters to help build or repair more than 100 homes in seven days.

“Since first volunteering to build with us in 1984, the Carters remain two of Habitat’s most prolific and vocal proponents of affordable housing. We are grateful that they have once again partnered with us to help build a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are also grateful to the volunteers, sponsors and supporters who are making this Carter Work Project possible.”

A Habitat Volunteer Does the Extraordinary

John Zawis, a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, father of two and grandfather of five, spends 3-4 days a week on a Habitat job site. He is what Habitat affectionately refers to as a “regular,” a generous volunteer crew leader who manages crews weekly.

John embarked on a single day home -building mission to Tijuana, Mexico this October sponsored by the Santa Ana based non-profit, Corazon. Homes are funded by sponsor organizations and families who support annual builds through donation and volunteer work.

John and his volunteer crew began their day of service with an early morning caravan to the Nuevo Milenio district where they were greeted by local Corazon staff and community volunteers. Materials were pre-staged for the build and the group of twenty-seven Americans of mixed construction skill levels formed four crews for the day.

The house became a home as final touches like windows, doors, and trim were added to the constructed framework.  The build was concluded by a brief ceremony in which the family received the keys to their new home and offered gratitude to all those who helped given them a home.

John has proven his commitment to improving quality of life for generations to come through his work with Habitat for Humanity in San Diego, and we’re proud that he has taken that passion and care to our wonderful neighbors in Mexico.  Way to go, John!

See more of John’s build with Corazon! 

Building Homes in Three Minutes Flat!

BLITZ logo 2014_vector_1_STANDARD

Have you ever wondered what it looks like to build a house in five days? Now you can see the action in three minutes flat! The Home Builders Blitz took place in Escondido last month, and during all five days of the building process Habitat had a camera set up, constantly recording the progress of the homes. This footage was put together to make a time-lapse video that can be viewed below. Watch to see the amazing work of Habitat, its volunteers, and sponsors!

Click here to watch the video now!


Playhouse Program Provides New Opportunities

Habitat for Humanity’s new Playhouse Program offers a new way for local companies to give back without ever setting foot on a Habitat job site!

Often, busy employees of great local companies are unable to take a whole day away from the office to come to a build site.  Let Habitat bring the build to you!  The Playhouse Program offers a great alternative where people can take a half day to work on a project right outside their workplace – and it’s just as important to the community as building a home.

Habitat recently saw success with its first local Playhouse partner, Cox Communications. Cox employees took time out of their busy days to help build and decorate playhouses that are being donated to deserving families through a partnership with The Children’s Initiative. Not only has Cox donated the time of its employees, it has also committed financial support which is vital to continuing the Habitat mission. Take a look at the news coverage of this event here.

Cox Communications employees participate in the first Playhouse build day.

Groundbreaking Kicks Off Partnership With Sempra Energy

On Saturday March 29, 2014, San Diego Habitat for Humanity broke ground on the new Elm Street Community in Escondido. The groundbreaking ceremony and inaugural build day served as the kickoff to a partnership with Sempra Energy that will help Habitat for Humanity serve more families, provide energy efficiency upgrades to qualifying existing homes, and transform the surrounding neighborhood.

The Elm Street Community in Escondido, consisting of eleven new 1,300 square foot homes, will feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms with electric efficiency upgrades. One of the homes is sponsored by Sempra Energy and will serve a wounded veteran and their family as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Building for the Brave program.


Sempra employees will be back in June to help complete the home during Habitat for Humanity’s Builders Blitz. Following that effort, 500 Sempra employees will provide critical exterior repairs and energy-saving upgrades to 35 homes in the surrounding community, June 14th and 16-19. Habitat greatly appreciates Sempra Energy for making these exciting build efforts possible.