By Shannon Benson and Ariel Yarrish
At Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (Habitat OC), we build. We build because we believe that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. More than building homes, we build communities, we build hope and we build the opportunity for families to help themselves. At Habitat OC, we put love and faith into action to transform the lives of individuals, families and communities. We build to offer affordable homeownership opportunities to hardworking, limited-income families in need of a hand-up.
Lorena, a Habitat OC homeowner, learned about Habitat OC during a difficult time in her life. After she had settled her divorce and lost her house, Lorena was living in different homeless shelters with her daughter, until she heard about Habitat OC.
Lorena saw Habitat OC as an opportunity to provide a safe and stable home for herself and her daughter and soon began the process of applying to purchase a Habitat OC home. During this process, Habitat OC reviewed her need for adequate housing, ability to pay and willingness to partner with Habitat OC.
Once Lorena was approved for Habitat OC’s homeownership program, she quickly began her 250 hours of sweat equity, building her home and the homes in her neighborhood alongside volunteers from all over Orange County. Sweat equity allows for Habitat OC homeowners to invest time and labor, not just money, into their homes and their community. For Lorena, completing her sweat equity hours brought her closer to her faith and reconnected her with Jesus.
While Lorena was investing her 250 hours of sweat equity into building her home, she met Pastor Brent and members of the La Habra United Methodist Church (La Habra UMC). “While volunteering on the construction site, I was able to make a connection and form friendships with the members of La Habra UMC. I am very thankful for their time and the effort they put into building my home,” said Lorena.
Shortly after, Lorena became a member of the La Habra UMC. “I became a partner with the church and found a home,” she said. Lorena’s and her daughter’s life has been transformed by the friendships that were built during the construction of their Habitat OC home.
The trajectory of Lorena, her daughter and other Habitat OC families’ lives has been changed for generations to come. These families have been presented with their keys and mortgages and now have a place to call home where they can be healthy, safe, learn and dream.
With the help of volunteers, donors and faith partners, Habitat OC accomplished the milestone of 200 homes built in Orange County, serving more than 1,000 women, men and children in need of safe, stable and affordable homes. With a stable Habitat OC home, families have less financial stress, become more invested in their community and are at ease knowing they now have a safe and stable home to grow in.
Habitat OC invites you to get involved and make a difference in the lives of Orange County families.
For more information, please contact Habitat OC’s Faith Relations Manager at (714) 434-6200 ext. 226 or FaithRelations@HabitatOC.org. What will you build? A roof, a window, a stable home where a child can play and study? Serving Families and Serving God at the Home Improvement Store that