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.
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.
The Ramirez Family has lived in their current apartment in Pauma Valley for the past two years. Calling it an apartment is a stretch – it is more of a structure that the family has done their best to turn into a livable space. The boys share a sleeping space, and the parents sleeping space doubles as a kitchen.
The septic tank for the apartment complex is emptied twice per year and instead of taking the refuse away, the tank is emptied in a ditch near the home. The kids in the neighborhood are often sick, likely as a result of exposure to the waste.
Lionso and Elidia are very hard workers and have steady jobs. Son Ivan is a sophomore in high school and Lionso Jr. is studying Psychology at Cal State San Marcos.
Owning a home through Habitat will change the future of the Ramirez family. They will have a stable, safe, healthy roof over their head where they can thrive. They have already begun their sweat equity hours and are looking forward to their new life.
“My future goals include providing my family with what they need for better health and education.” -Pedro Mendez
The Mendez family has lived in their current apartment for the past three years. It is an extremely small two-bedroom apartment in which Fabiola and her brother, Pedro, share a bedroom. As they grow older, each child is in desperate need of more private space.
Fabiola has rare “brittle bone” disease and is confined to a wheelchair for her safety. The cramped space of the apartment and the tiny bedroom she shares with her brother don’t allow her to move about in a safe way and can cause a major injury that would take weeks to recover from.
Despite the need for repairs to their apartment, the community manager remains unresponsive. There is also crime and drug use going on at neighbor’s homes. Pedro’s expensive tools, required for his job, have been stolen in the past, leaving the Mendez family concerned about the health and safety of their children.
The family yearns to live in a safer, healthier, more secure neighborhood, and is looking forward to purchasing their Habitat home. In addition to Pedro and Patricia’s traditional sweat equity hours, the children are proud to contribute by continuing to get good grades!
Welcome to the Habitat Family, Mendezes!
Wesley, Angela, and Landon currently live in a home built in the 1950s. The house has old wiring, lead-based paint, and termites in the roof, while poor insulation makes it very cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
The Linams have long desired to own their own home and hope to grow their family and provide their children with a safe place to call home. Owning a home in Lakeside will completely change their lives!
Wesley proudly served our country for five years as a member of the United States Navy and now works with veterans at the VA. The Linam Family is currently working on their sweat equity (little Landon is a favorite around the office!) and are looking forward to joining the “Building for the Brave” community in Lakeside.
Wesley, Angela, and Landon Linam
All of the donations, hours, and support that come from volunteers, friends, and family of Habitat for Humanity go towards changing the lives of families just like the Casas family. Like many families in America, they have been trapped in an inadequate living situation. The family of five lives in a two-bedroom apartment in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Although Jose and Maria work hard to support their family, their low-wage jobs have made it impossible to move. Their situation began to worsen when the apartment faced theft, vandalism, and maintenance issues leaving them without hot water.
The Casas family’s story turned around when their application for a Habitat house was approved. Finally, the family was given the life-changing opportunity of owning a home – a dream they never thought possible.
“The first moment we saw the house, we liked the house. Then, when we qualified for the house, we couldn’t believe it. We were crying. I was crying. We were so happy. This is unbelievable. Something really big is going to change our lives.” -Jose Casas
The Casas’ devotion to moving into their new house is obvious. The family completed their 500 hours of sweat equity in just 10 weeks – a San Diego Habitat for Humanity record! All members of the family volunteered their time – sometimes up to 60 hours a week. Much of their sweat equity took place at our new ReStore location on 837 Metcalf in Escondido, making a huge difference in its opening weeks. On behalf of the ReStore staff and the rest of the staff at Habitat we give the Casas family a BIG thank you for all of this hard work!
We are so excited for the Casas family to have a home they deserve and grateful to supporters like you for helping to turn their dreams into reality.
Brrrr…if our Thanksgiving night-time temperatures were any indication, San Diego is in for a cold holiday season. Let us help take the chill off with this heart-warming story of a Habitat partner family.
Meet Alberto and Margarita and their three children: Monserrat, Alberto, Jr. and Leonardo. The family has been living in a “converted” garage for the past seven years. The two rooms of living space are clean, but drafty and not homelike. Leonardo’s bedroom wall is the garage door. The children are not allowed to play outside because of the criminal activity in the area.
In a few months, this family will move into a new 3-bedroom home built by the hands of Habitat for Humanity volunteers and funded by Habitat donors. Alberto, Jr. and Leonardo look forward to having their first real bedroom – with windows and real walls – and the opportunity to play safely outdoors. They will start a new life.
Over the past 23 years, Habitat has helped create homes for more than a hundred hard-working families – hundreds of children – throughout San Diego County. Yet, we know there are so many more children in need. This holiday season, learn how you can help create a warm, safe home for a child at http://www.sandiegohabitat.org.