This morning we invited partners and future partners to take a HabiTour and learn more about our affiliate by viewing some of our different types of properties. The tour began bright and early at the Weingart Foundation. We took some time to take in the breathtaking view of downtown Los Angeles and enjoy breakfast as people arrived.
Everyone was eager to board the bus and get a firsthand look at the important work we are doing in our local communities. At about 8:00 am we departed for the cities of Lynwood and South Gate – where we have several homes in various stages of rehabilitation and construction. The time on the bus provided us with the opportunity to cover a lot of information and answer questions. We discussed how we select properties and homeowners, as well as volunteering, green building and programs like A Brush with Kindness.
Our first stop was at a home being rehabilitated in Lynwood. It is a beautiful home with two brick fireplaces and an expansive yard dotted with orange trees. Touring this home was a special treat because the homeowners were the ones to proudly guide us through.
We then returned to the bus and continued with “Habitat 101″ and two brief stops at acquired properties that will soon undergo renovations. When we are rehabilitating a home, one of our primary undertakings is to ensure that the home is energy efficient. We accomplish this by installing new windows, insulation, roofing, etc.
The next home that we walked through was in South Gate. The home is on a corner lot, with charming craftsman details. Our construction team and volunteers have done a wonderful job making upgrades to the home while preserving its character.
Before we knew it we were back on the bus and en route to our final stop – our new, ten home neighborhood in Lynwood! These homes are new construction and are nearing completion. It was great for our guests to be able to see an example of new construction and realize the scope of our capabilities. Our COO, Mark Van Lue, gave a brief, yet informative, overview of our commitment to green building and how sustainable features in our homes benefit partner homeowners. Each home on the Imperial site will have solar panels and receive at least LEED Silver certification.
We ended our HabiTour with a bang! On our way back to the Weingart Foundation, Jose Tobar spoke. While Jose was in high school his family partnered with Habitat during the Jimmy Carter Work Project in Los Angeles and moved into one of the homes that Jimmy Carter himself helped to build. Having a home greatly affected Jose’s life and he went onto college and has recently purchased a home of his own in the same neighborhood as his parents. His sister and her family have also been positively impacted by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (HFH GLA), she is one of our partner homeowners in Lynwood!
A lot was accomplished during this tour and we are already planning the next one. A HabiTour is a great way to learn about HFH GLA, but one of the best ways to experience the essence of our organization is by volunteering! To learn more about our volunteer opportunities click here.