Posted by Sylvia Bautista, Homeowner Relations Case Manager & Proud Habitat Homeowner:
This week we celebrated World Habitat Day (WHD), a day set aside annually to recognize the basic
right of all humanity to adequate shelter, and to encourage grassroots action toward ending poverty
housing. For me it’s a day where words travel through social media, word of mouth, and people’s hearts about the importance of affordable housing. This year’s World Habitat Day was especially inspiring, since I had an opportunity to participate in six home dedications. Habitat LA staff and board members visited families and dedicated homes in the City of Long Beach. Through these dedications and home visits, I had the opportunity to see the true impact affordable housing has on families, children, and our community.
Mr. Chanto, lives with his wife and two daughters in a beautiful Spanish style home. He was glowing in excitement to see us and share his experiences with homeownership. “We reach a point where we realized that we would never be able to afford a home no matter how hard we had tried. Habitat LA turned our family’s hopelessness around and changed our destiny. Now I am a homeowner! I have a place called “HOME” for my family. I feel I have much more confidence, feel bigger inside than before, Habitat LA restored most of me lost before and changed me to become a new person who is happily, bravely moving forward for the rest of life.”
We also visited Ms. Caldwell, a single mother with three daughters under eight years old. She proudly showed us around her beautiful home. Ms. Caldwell has worked had to make her house a home with an all pink girls room with flower print bedding. She shared that she felt empowered to make repairs on her home and keep up with the maintenance; “I never knew how much work went into renovating homes, because of this program I have learned to appreciate my home. I gained the experience on how to fix things in my home which I never know. I’ve met so many loving people during this journey I would never have had such a great experience without Habitat”
At our last dedication, we had the opportunity to sit and have dinner with the Kushkaki family. They described their journey as “Finally we found the Stability we were looking for we will forever be grateful to Habitat.” It was amazing to see them in their home a home, where kids now have their own room, a place to play, and stability.
WHD helped me to realize how our efforts to advocate for affordable housing make a difference in the lives of these families. Finally, there is one more thing that made this day special; it was my 15th anniversary in my beautiful Habitat home. Affordable housing will always be dear to my heart because without it my children and I would probably be renting a room in someone home or living in a small apartment instead of owning our own home. I’d like to thank our generous sponsors, volunteers, and especially Habitat LA staff for making a difference in our lives, we will forever be grateful.
Learn more about Homeownership and other opportunities to partner with Habitat LA here.