Los Angeles is a challenging place to build affordable, green housing and we are on the cutting edge. Through partnerships with other organizations, by building multi-family projects, by being “green” and by expanding our reach through renovation projects like A Brush with Kindness, we are creating a new, replicable model for other cities facing similar obstacles in their fight to provide affordable housing.
In Los Angeles, we are helping families out of substandard housing in two ways:
HFH GLA distinguishes itself as one of the only providers of home ownership opportunities for families earning 30 to 80 percent of area median income in the Los Angeles region. Since 1990, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles has built or renovated nearly 300 homes in partnership with hardworking, low-income families in need. A core goal is to build 30 homes each year.
Home Renovation: A Brush With Kindness
With the high cost of acquiring and developing land, HFH GLA is also reaching out to help preserve existing affordable housing through A Brush With Kindness. This program reaches out to low and moderate income homeowners, especially seniors, veterans and the disabled, to make exterior repairs to their homes – at no cost to the homeowners. The goal for A Brush with Kindness is to renovate 45 homes each year.
TRAINING (downloads Training One Sheet .pdf)
The HCE offers extensive training opportunities and resources to better your skills, your leadership abilities and your understanding of issues pertaining to affordable housing.
Basic Construction Skills Training – Next Class Will Be in August
Become a more knowledgeable Habitat for Humanity volunteer by learning basic construction skills needed on our sites. Learn more and sign up.
Crew Leader Training – Next Class Will Be in August
If you’ve been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and are interested in helping to lead others, Crew Leader training will focus on understanding Habitat procedures and teach you how to lead teams of volunteers. Learn more and sign up.
GREEN BUILDING(Download “Green One Sheet” .pdf.)
HFH GLA is among a growing number of Habitat for Humanity affiliates that are incorporating Green Building elements that improve the affordability and sustainability for homeowners and the communities in which they live. We bring pragmatic aspects of affordable housing and green building to create tangible benefits like cost-savings and upkeep for families.
Learn more about how Habitat for Humanity is working to be “green” in many aspects of the affiliate’s work.
The Housing Center for Excellence works in concert with leaders through: Innovative arrangements (Rebuilding Together)
Solar power and installation (Grid Alternatives, Global Green, IBEW)
Resource distribution (Waste Management)
Design (Disney Imagineering)
EPICS campus chapters (USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley).
Best Practices (coming soon)
Individual Volunteer FAQ
Do I need construction experience to volunteer?
No. Construction experience is not needed to volunteer. Crew Leaders on the build site will instruct and guide you on your assigned tasks. We ask for your willingness to work hard, learn and have fun!
What do I need to bring/wear when I volunteer?
- Please wear closed-toed sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes that you can get dirty.
- Please bring your own water bottle. We have Sparkletts jugs for refilling on site.
- Bringing sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen is always a good idea.
- All tools and building supplies will be provided for you. If you bring your own tools, please be sure to mark them with your name. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
What does the build day schedule look like? The general build day schedule appears below:
|8:00 a.m.||Volunteers Arrive & Register|
|8:20 a.m.||Orientation, Safety Briefing and Assignment of Tasks|
|8:30 a.m.||Work Starts|
|12-12:30 p.m.||Work Starts Again|
|4:00 p.m.||Work Day Ends|
What will I be doing when I volunteer?
Because the nature of the construction is fluid volunteer assignments vary from day to day. We ask that you be flexible when volunteering and allow the site supervisor to assign an appropriate task when you arrive. You will never be asked to perform a task that you do not feel comfortable doing. Please know that all stages of construction are important and volunteer help is needed at each and every stage!
Should I still come on the site in the case of bad weather?
Yes. We will contact you if we need to cancel construction due to weather conditions. If weather conditions impact construction, the site supervisor will adjust the schedule on site and we will work through bad weather if the situation is safe. Please come unless you have been told otherwise. A shortage of scheduled volunteers impacts the construction schedule.
What do I do if I must change/cancel my volunteer date?
The construction schedule is dependent on confirmed volunteers. Cancelling on short notice creates a hardship on staff and impacts effective production for the work day. There is an option to cancel your reservation online if you cannot keep your commitment. Please [log-in] using your username and password and select “Remove Me” next to your activity assignment. Please try to plan your schedule enough in advance so that a cancellation is not necessary.
What is A Brush With Kindness (ABWK)?
ABWK is a program that provides free exterior house repairs to help low-income homeowners to restore their property. Families can continue to live in a safe, decent and affordable home while bringing volunteers together to help a homeowner in need. These construction projects include exterior repairs on siding, roofs, windows, doors, building fences, exterior painting, landscaping and more.
I think I am a Skilled Volunteer, what’s the next step?
Please indicate your skill level on the volunteer profile when it asks you to do so. HFHGLA will contact you via email to discuss your skill level. Skilled volunteers should have well-rounded experience and knowledge in construction. You may register anytime for one or more build dates.
I want to be a Crew Leader, what’s the next step?
HFHGLA requires that all Crew Leaders participate in our Crew Leader Training program to receive instruction and leadership skills for guiding volunteer activity on build sites. The next training is listed [online registration] under the training activity category.
Why do I see two activities for one construction site when I sign up online?
We post additional volunteer oportunities as needed on each activity, e.g., “Fernwood Continued”. Quantities are limited under the first activity and using the “Continued” instance allows us to open the opportunity up to more volunteers if needed.
Why am I only able to view about one month’s woth of volunteer opportunities online?
The online volunteers schedule provides up to 5 weeks of opportunities. Construction has many variables that are unpredictable. Posting opportunities several weeks in advance allows HFHGLA to compensate for unforeseen circumstances.