a publication of San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity
Monrovia groundbreaking marks start of new lives for 4 more families
Spirits and emotions were high on September 13th when SGV Habitat for Humanity broke ground at 1214-18 Sherman Avenue in Monrovia. This newest development will construct four simple, decent, affordable homes for low-income families. The Del Grosso, Quiroz, Naccarati and Nava families were selected through a rigorous application process, and are required to help build the homes. Habitat home buyers must be U. S. citizens or permanent legal residents, live in substandard or overcrowded rental housing, meet low-income eligibility requirements, have a steady income, and are required to pay a 1% cash down payment.
Tom Doud, president of the SGV chapter, said pre-development plans for the Monrovia build have been the easiest ever. The current Sherman Avenue location arose from interest from Monrovia Councilwoman Mary Ann Lutz, who was part of the Kenwood (Glendale) Women’s Build team for SGV Habitat for Humanity. Her city made not one, but two adjacent lots available to Habitat for Humanity so four affordable homes could be built. Monrovia has been extremely supportive and welcoming, from Scott Ochoa, city manager, to the Redevelopment Agency, elected officials, and the Sherman Avenue neighbors. In 1992, the first Pasadena home was built under very different circumstances. “We scrapped for everything,” Doud mused, with resistance at every turn. Since then, Habitat proved that these projects quickly have a positive ripple effect in the community. Fresh paint and home improvements on the block will soon blossom as the rafters of the Sherman homes rise. Janelle Williams, Family Selection Committee co-chair, spoke of the grueling process of selection, chuckling that the Del Grossos have become known for their application of humor to the direst of circumstances. Each family shared a bit of their background, challenges and commitment, with nary a dry eye in the audience. Some, like the Naccaratis, had applied time after time. After three heartbreaking rejections, Sandra Naccarati submitted the Monrovia application because Marco was out of the country. The Navas commented that they quickly realized life is not easy here when you are not well educated, so focused on their children’s education.
SGV Habitat Board member Don Goodman joins the Quiroz Family as they break ground for their new home.
The Quiroz family has a pastor as head of their seven member family. Williams quipped, “If you need a blessing, Raymond is your man!” Quiroz had so much faith in their selection, he circled September 13 on the calendar, noting “Groundbreaking for our home.” All are grateful to build a more secure life for their families, and look forward to giving back to their new community. Expected completion of the Sherman Avenue homes is December, 2009, though the families hope and pray for an earlier completion. In addition to raising the last $183,000 of the $533,000 cash budget needed to complete the homes, volunteer crew leaders are particularly needed. They must be skilled in various trades and able to teach general construction techniques to less experienced volunteers. Sonja Yates, Habitat Executive Director, asked volunteers from all walks of life to help construct the homes. “At the end of the day, our volunteers are VERY tired, but the reward is priceless. Volunteering may be a life changing experience.” To volunteer, contribute financially or donate materials or services, visit www.sgvhabitat.org, or call 626-792-3838. Note: This article is reprinted in part with permission from the Mountain Views Observer and has been edited for this newsletter.
Inside: From the Executive Director • Youth Group Car Wash • We’re Moving
Board of Directors: Claus Agger-Nielsen Jan C. Berentsen Michael T. Davitt Tom Doud Ann Dougherty George Garfield Donald W. Goodman Jay Harvill Cindy Heydt Daric Lee Deborah A. Loveland John Mac Lean Carol Martin Judd Reas Janelle Williams Howard Woo Staff: Executive Director Sonja L. Yates Accountant Sayaka Ota Office Manager Catalina Velez Volunteer Coordinator Jan Robinson Special Projects Coordinator Linda Hammes ReStore Manager Bill Anderson ReStore Assistant Manager Michael Krecker ReStore Driver Ricky Brownlee Sales David Hill Newsletter Editor Michael Schutz San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity 770 N. Fair Oaks Avenue Pasadena, California 91103 Phone: (626) 792-3838 Fax: (626) 792-7006 www.sgvhabitat.org
A Message from Our Executive Director What an amazing year we are having at SGV Habitat for Humanity! •Construction of the 11 Kenwood Homes is progressing extremely well thanks to Tony Haynes, Construction Manager, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers. • We found a great new location for our ReStore (Builders Surplus Store) and offices. Our move will take place later this year. In 2009, City of Pasadena will tear down the buildings that currently house our ReStore and offices to make way for the new mixed-use Heritage Square Redevelopment project. • Our FY 2008 goal to totally revamp our web site was accomplished. In July, our greatly improved web site debuted. Please go to www. sgvhabitat.org to see for yourself. Please let us know whether you found the information to be current and useful. Your suggestions for improving our web presence and communication are invited.
• Thanks to your generous donations and those of hundreds of other SGV Habitat for Humanity supporters, we reached the fundraising benchmark to break ground for the four new Habitat homes on Sherman Avenue in Monrovia. Four more very deserving families qualified and were approved by our Board of Directors for homeownership in this new development. A joyous groundbreaking ceremony took place on September 13th. The work of our affiliate in the 31 foothill communities along the San Gabriel Mountains is a blessing, not only for deserving low-income families, but also for upgrading neighborhoods and helping cities to do their part to provide affordable housing. This inspired work is also a model of grass roots action to make communities stronger through volunteer efforts. Thank you again for your participation in this amazing affordable housing mission. Sonja L. Yates
THE QUIROZ FAMILY’S PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED “Let’s pray and pretend that we will have a home on this land,” Raymond Quiroz expressed to his family. After they filled out the application for a Habitat home the family would drive to the empty lot on Sherman Avenue in Monrovia and pray together that their dream of owning a home would become a reality. Raymond’s faith led him to put a date on his calendar for the groundbreaking even before they were chosen for a home. Raymond is a pastor with a deep faith who believes in the power of prayer. He and his wife, Sonia, have instilled in their children the spirit of giving and have a strong commitment to make their community the best it can be. They love living in Monrovia and want to continue raising their family there. The children, Raymond Jr. 11, Carolina 10, Julian 6, Gracie 5 months and Olga 16, have this same spirit of giving back. This family of seven lives in a two-bedroom apartment, which is, of course, very overcrowded. Sonia can’t wait to have their own laundry hook up. The children sleep in a twin and a bunk bed. When Olga comes to stay, Carolina gets a blanket to sleep on the floor. Olga and Carolina are anxiously anticipating sharing a bedroom and have decorating plans to paint this room. Raymond Jr. and Julian will have a place to skateboard. They also won’t have to worry about noise because no one will be living below them. At night the family has to walk softly in order not to disturb the neighbors downstairs. The rooms in the apartment are bursting with clothes and toys everywhere. The family is looking forward to having more space.
Quiroz Family Even though they live in crowded conditions, the children do very well in school. They do their homework on the kitchen table while helping each other. At other times they will go in separate rooms. Even the bathroom is used when very quiet study is needed. When Raymond Jr. practices his trumpet, he uses a mute to not disturb others. The TV is shut off during school days with no video games except for the weekend. The cramped conditions do not deter their academic achievement. Olga is a high school junior who was Student of the Semester. Raymond Jr. is a GATE student and Carolina and Julian have high STAR test scores. They play sports, do cheerleading and give service to their church. The children are well-rounded and responsible with loving, giving hearts and an optimistic, appreciative attitude. We know this deserving family will be an asset to the Monrovia community when they finally sign the mortgage agreement and receive the keys to their own home on Sherman Avenue.
Youth Group Helps Monrovia Build On Saturday, August 23rd, the Pasadena Covenant Church youth held a car wash to benefit SGV Habitat for Humanity’s latest home development in Monrovia. A dozen children from the youth program at the church, located on the corner of Lake Avenue and Santa Barbara, worked for six hours to wash approximately 50 cars. Together they raised $664 to help build decent, affordable homes for four working, but low-income families. “The car wash fundraiser was a great way for our students to contribute to a project in their own back yard,” said Youth Pastor James McMillan, “and by having Habitat staff come along, our students also were able to learn more about what Habitat is all about. We try to teach them that loving our neighbors is very important, and partnering with Habitat was a great way to practice that.” When the event was over one youth commented, “Car washes are fun. Let’s have another one!” McMillan plans to get those youth who are at least 16 years old to help pound some nails once the construction of the homes begins. The car wash is only the first of the church’s involvement with the build. The money that the Pasadena Covenant Church youth raised helped reduce the balance needed for groundbreaking, which was held on September 13th at 1214-1218 Sherman Avenue in Monrovia. This effort demonstrates that everyone can help build Habitat homes, even if you can’t heft a hammer or wire a circuit. To find out how you or your group can partner with SGV Habitat for Humanity contact Jan Robinson by email at volunteernow@ sgvhabitat.org. or by calling 626-792-3838 x17.
Vroman’s Bookstore Customers “Give Back” Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena supports SGV Habitat for Humanity through their “Give Back” program. Ask the friendly Vroman’s cashier to enroll you and to direct your “Give Back” dollars (an amount based on your total purchase) to SGV Habitat for Humanity. The average annual donation from this great program is around $4,000, and we are grateful to the store and its customers for these significant gifts.
Mohommad Rady of the Islamic Congregation of La Canada-Flintridge presents a generous donation to SGV Habitat Board member and Treasurer, Howard Woo, in support of the Monrovia build.
Pancake Breakfast fundraiser to benefit
BURBANK KIWANIS FOR FUN CHARITIES
Saturday, November 15, 2008 8:00am ~ 11:00am
Reduce Reuse Recycle at our new location!
“Rain or Shine” St. Mark’s Episcopal Church 1020 North Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91202 Corner of North Brand & Dryden
Donation: $6.00 Try our yummy
Our new address will be: 410 S. Irwindale Avenue Azusa, CA 91702
Please visit our website www.sgvhabitat.org and watch for the date for our
GRAND OPENING! Thank you for your support. We look forward to serving you in our new location. Phone: 626-792-3838
For Tickets/Information Call: St. Mark’s: 818-240-3860 Habitat: 626-792-3838 Breakfast Service by Burbank Kiwanis for Fun
Please e-mail us so we can update our e-mail address mailing list: email@example.com San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity 770 North Fair Oaks Avenue Pasadena, California 91103
NONPROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID PASADENA, CA PERMIT NO. 224