We Get By with a Little Help from Friends

We Get By with a Little Help from Friends

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento has a saying – “It takes a community to build a community.” Through 34 years of building and repairing homes in Sacramento and Yolo County, Habitat has partnered with thousands of organizations and tens of thousands of volunteers to build and repair more than 200 homes alongside low-income families, seniors and Veterans. In 2019, more partners than ever before joined the Habitat family as more than just financial supporters, but also as in-kind material and labor donors.

CAPCON Rocks the Block

On September 6th and 7th, Habitat hosted the second-annual Rock the Block in South Oak Park – a 36-hour blitz-build event which repaired 23 homes and completed 5 community projects to revitalize the Fruitridge Community Collaborative center, a community garden, and a playground. With 29 total projects to tackle, the small Habitat crew of just 4 Construction Site Supervisors knew they would need a little supervisory assistance. Cue CAPCON.

More than 30 CAPCON employees volunteered their time and expertise over the course of the two-day Rock the Block event – bringing the skills and supervision each project site needed. Together with the Habitat team, the CAPCON crew trained and led more than 400 volunteers, many of whom had no prior construction experience.

“There are far too few positive things in this world that bring communities together.  Habitat for Humanity’s Rock the Block event gave us the opportunity to partner our work family, with families in need, and volunteers from all walks of life to accomplish the impossible. On the morning of day one, with our assignments in hand and a divide and conquer attitude, we set out to “do what we do!”  But not long after work begins, you get to meet the homeowners and their families.  Shortly after that, armies of volunteers in blue shirts show up, which gives new meaning to “many hands make light work,”  and just like that, another day at the office is transformed into something much more meaningful.” –Chris Worth, CAPCON

ATI Joins in on a Pilot Home Rehabilitation Program

In an established Glen Elder neighborhood on 75th Street, a unique Home Rehabilitation project is underway. Through a new partnership with the City of Sacramento, Habitat is transforming a former illegal cannabis grow house into an affordable home alongside a low-income family. Single mother Sandra Granados and her three teenage daughters will soon call the just-like-new house a home.

Rehabilitation of an existing home can come with distinct benefits and challenges. While the cost of a home rehabilitation is less than half than the cost of new home construction, an existing home can present challenges that are unforeseen until the structure’s history is uncovered. As such, extensive abatement measures can become costly.

American Technologies Inc. jumped at the chance to be part of the new collaborative home rehabilitation project. Through a donation of nearly $16,000 in abatement services, ATI relieved a major portion of the fundraising burden to get the project off the ground. And they didn’t stop there – ATI staff will also volunteer twice during construction, to bring the Granados family one day closer to moving into their safe, decent, affordable home.

Reeve-Knight Construction Helps Bring a Veteran Home

Marine Veteran Cleo Shuler has owned his home for 31 years, however due to onset of disabilities which shifted his world to the confines of a wheelchair and without use of his legs and one arm, Cleo hadn’t been able to live independently in his home for most of those years – until Habitat and a few friends worked to bring him back home.

Through a special collaboration of nonprofit partners, Community Resource Project, Rebuilding Together Sacramento, Neighborworks, and Habitat brought special talents and partners to the table in order to remodel Cleo’s home. The kitchen and bathroom were in particular need of accessibility improvements. Rebuilding Together Sacramento brought one such partner to the project to install alternative bathroom fixtures, sink and bathtub: Reeve-Knight Construction.

Inspired by Cleo’s story and with a desire to give back to a local Veteran, Reeve-Knight proposed a budget for their portion of the bathroom remodel: $0. Through donation of nearly $11,000 in materials and services, Reeve-Knight enabled Cleo’s home remodel loan to be much more affordable. When asked what he was most looking forward to in his new home, Cleo answered without hesitation: “First, independence; and second, a long hot bath” – something he had not been able to do without a walk-in tub for many years.

Indeed, it takes a community to build a community. Whether the collaborations develop through new home construction, home rehabilitation, events such as Rock the Block, or Veteran home repairs, there is something truly special about in-kind partners – those who go beyond financial contribution to donation of material and services. As Habitat looks to a bright future of building bigger in the Sacramento and Yolo community, opportunities to build in-kind partnerships come in no shortage. In 2020, Habitat looks forward to a number of exciting projects, including additional former cannabis grow Home Rehabilitations, a 13-home New Construction development, and continued Neighborhood Revitalization and Veteran Home Repair Projects.

To learn more about in-kind sponsorship opportunities with Habitat, contact Laine Himmelmann at LHimmelmann@HabitatGreaterSac.org or (916) 440-1215 x1108.

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