On Friday, March 23rd Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento and Health Net Federal Services joined the Wirth family in breaking ground on Habitat Greater Sacramento’s first ever Habitat Veteran Home Build.
Habitat, the Wirth family, and Federal Services were joined by Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Supervisor Patrick Kennedy of District 2 of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, several media representatives and about 50 members of the community who came together to watch the historic groundbreaking event.
The event opened with a welcome by Habitat Greater Sacramento CEO and a pledge of allegiance led by Jon Copley of Federal Services alongside other Veteran supporters and Federal Services employees.
Jon Copley of Health Net Federal Services leads Habitat volunteers and supporters in the pledge of allegiance
The ceremony continued with words from Federal Services CEO Billy Maynard, as well as words of support from Senator Dr. Richard Pan and Supervisor Patrick Kennedy .
Mark Wirth stands beside Senator Dr. Richard Pan at the Groundbreaking
Said Mark Wirth at Friday’s groundbreaking event, “We feel incredibly strong about this program building a home for a Veteran. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for Veterans to get a home, especially like this. We struggled the first year coming to Sacramento to try to make this our home. We had everything planned out, we had our VA loan ready to go and again and again we were turned away and we didn’t know why, but now we do. We know that God had something better planned for us and that’s what is happening right now.”
Habitat and Health Net Federal Services, Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, the Wirth family, and Senator Dr. Richard Pan break ground on Habitat first ever Veteran Home Build in Sacramento.
The Wirth family was selected from a pool of local Veteran families who applied this Fall and went through a stringent application process. They received the surprise of a lifetime on November 9th when they found out at Center Court at a Kings game that they had been selected as the recipient family.
Mark Wirth served 6-years in the U.S. Air Force. He and Emily grew up in poverty and were the first in their families to graduate from High School. They are currently working towards their nursing degrees while raising their two children – Natalie and Troy.
Construction of the home, which was sponsored through a historic $150,000 donation from Health Net Federal Services – the largest single home sponsorship Habitat has ever received-, began the following day after the groundbreaking with a team of Health Net Federal Services employees. The project is Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento’s first ever Veteran home build from the ground up in Habitat Greater Sacramento’s 32 year history.
The Wirth Family at the groundbreaking
“This means the world to me and my family, this gives us the chance to give your children a future which we never thought possible,” said an emotional Emily Wirth at Friday’s groundbreaking. “My husband and I are both going to school full time with two little children and we love our kids, but it is hard sometimes going to school full time to get our bachelors in nursing and so that’s been kind of a struggle…We are just so thankful that we have been given this opportunity and we hope that more Veterans will have the same opportunity as us – a home that they feel safe, that their children can grow up in, and that gives them financial freedom so we are thankful for that, we are thankful to Habitat and Health Net Federal Services- we can’t say thank you enough…”
Health Net Federal Services, in addition to their sponsorship, plans on contributing over 500 volunteers to help on the project over the next 6 months. The Wirth family will put in 500 hours of sweat equity, working alongside volunteers to build their home, before purchasing it from Habitat for a 30-year, 0% interest mortgage.
To see photos from the groundbreaking on Facebook, click HERE.
You can also see the live Facebook stream of the groundbreaking event HERE
Interested in partnering with Habitat Greater Sacramento to build or repair homes for families and Veterans? Contact Laine Himmelmann at LHimmelmann@HabitatGreaterSac.org