July 16th, 2013
Congratulations to Kristina Alvarez and her family on their acceptance into our program! They recently received this wonderful news and could not be more thrilled about the opportunity to move into a stable environment and build a better future.
After receiving the news, Kristina was both excited and shocked. She was beginning to lose hope of finding an affordable home after years of bouncing around in various small, expensive, and bug ridden apartments. “I was tired of renting things that would never be mine,” states Kristina, “It’s difficult and tiring to have to move all of the time.” It was then that she heard about Habitat for Humanity, applied, and is now accepted!
As a mother of two children, Miranda who is five and Kaylie who is two, Kristina is proud to be able to provide her children a more stable environment with a home of their own. She is ecstatic that her children no longer have to worry about moving every year or six months when the lease on the apartment ends.
Kristina currently has two jobs. She works at Clear Lake Regional Hospital as a PBX Operator and as a Director for Champions. Working night shifts is a common occurrence so she often leaves her kids to stay with her mother. When she works during the day Miranda and Kaylie are at Daycare. With her new home on the way Kristina is looking forward to having a clean, safe environment for her kids to play in. Most of all, Kristina says, “I am so happy to have a permanent place to live that I can call my own.”
June 17th, 2013
This past week, the Cantu family made their last mortgage payment! They have never missed a payment since moving into their Habitat home in 1998. Before they came to BAHFH, they were renting an apartment. They struggled with space as well as finances. The apartment was too small to accommodate their large family Juan, his wife, San Juanita, and their five children. When they were informed they qualified for a house, they were overjoyed and immediately began the necessary preparations.
Through the financial literacy courses Habitat for Humanity offers, the family learned better ways to save money and have been able to save a lot since then. Since moving into their Habitat home, Juan received a raise in his new job as a pipe feeder for PWS. As they continued to make payments for their home over the years, they decided to save up and buy a new home. Today living in their new home, they continue to apply the same principles they learned during their time partnering with Habitat.
By experiencing the construction of their house first hand they were able to learn about home maintenance so that they could take care of their home after it was built. Using their construction knowledge, they were able to build a deck and put in tile for their new home. San Juanita also planted an exquisite garden, something that she would not have been able to do living in an apartment. It brings her great joy to be able to provide fresh produce for her family and even save on grocery expenses as a result!
Even now, fourteen years later, San Juanita can remember the joy she felt receiving her first home as if it was yesterday. She is so grateful for the opportunity to raise her children in a safe and loving environment that an apartment couldn’t provide. She continues to thank God and the Habitat for Humanity volunteers for all of the blessings and opportunities she has received since then.
June 3rd, 2013
Every year, Habitat for Humanity and our partner Lowe’s sponsors an event called Women Build. Since the program started in 1991, Women Build has already built more than 1,600 houses within the US and in dozens of other countries. Women Build teams typically build more than 200 Habitat for Humanity homes per year.
Although 50 percent of the volunteer force for the Habitat for Humanity are women, many of them lack the training or skills to be on the construction site. As a result only 15 percent of the volunteers on construction sites are women. With Women Build, Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s train women with the skills necessary to be active on the construction sites and care for their own homes. It has proven to be an empowering build for women across the globe. For example, in India women were seen building homes for Habitat for Humanity and inspired local women to be independent, innovative, and to learn about ways to help their community as well and break free of the cultural stereotypes of women, capturing the true meaning of Women Build. (Jordan, P. (2010, March 12). Changing Perceptions. Habitat.org. Retrieved June 3, 2013 from, http://www.habitat.org/sites/default/files/wb_changing_perceptions_india.pdf.)
On April 21, 2013, Bay Area Habitat for Humanity began its fifth annual Women Build project with a 5k walk/run with 250 men and women participating. Through this amazing effort, they raised $45,000. For the next 12 Saturdays, 370 women and 170 men worked to build a home for Dionne Kelly. The construction rate reached an all-time high during National Women Build Week, May 4-11, 2013. During National Women Build Week, 55 women volunteered and worked hard to make the dream house a reality for Dionne. Dionne is a single mother of two children, Tristen who is seven and Ahrianna who is four. She is the supervisor for the patient advocacy department at a medical building company and lived in a two bedroom apartment with her son and daughter before the Habitat for Humanity home. The house that she partnered with us to work for has not only given her the opportunity to learn about construction and how to upkeep her own home but also the opportunity to put her earnings into an investment for her children. As a single mom, she wants to offer something to her children if something were to happen to her.
Seventy-nine percent of the recipients for Bay Area Habitat homes are single moms. Over the past five years every Women Build house has gone to a single mother. These statistics stress how important Women Build is to educate women in the basic techniques of construction so they can learn to care for themselves and their children through a well-kept home. The program has a promising future as it continues to assist and educate women about eliminating local low-income housing and poverty housing to better communities.
January 8th, 2013
Save the Date for the 2013 Women Build
5K Walk/Run APRIL 21, 2013 at 3:00PM
2700 Bay Area Blvd. Houston, TX 77058 – Bayou Bldg. Parking Lot
Click Here to set-up your fundraising page
The Bay Area Habitat for Humanity Women Build Project encourages women from our community to become advocates for Habitat by engaging them in the entire home building process, from fundraising, to building the structure, and becoming a blessing to a family in need! Each spring, the Bay Area Habitat for Humanity Women Build Project actively engages a diverse group of more than 600 community members through its 5K Walk and build.
The Women Build 5K Walk is our affiliate’s largest fundraiser of the year. Through this fun, high-profile event, we are able to reach a different audience than we normally have access to. Most of the walkers advocate and fundraise for the event using a social media site designed with non-profit fundraising in mind. They are able to reach friends, family, and other supporters from all over the world, and offer them the opportunity to become involved in the Women Build Project. They are our greatest advocates of the Women Build. We also offer local businesses the opportunity to promote their name at our walk. We found this to be an enticing marketing tool that allows us to include even more women from our community in the project. Our Women Build Project unites our organization by involving staff, volunteers, donors, Partner Families, and new walkers in the planning and implementation of the entire project. New walkers are cultivated to become long-term partners with Bay Area Habitat for Humanity. Our volunteers, staff and Partner Families are passionate about informing new walkers and volunteers about the mission of Habitat and the importance of Women Build. Many of our Partner Families are involved in the Women Build Walk, from manning tables to walking alongside the other participants, offering everyone (homeowners and walkers alike) the chance to share their stories about how Habitat has affected their lives.
Currently, 12 million U.S. children (1 in 6) live in poverty, which is a severe threat to their health, growth and potential.
Women are a powerful social and economic force with the means to both fund and construct homes where children can flourish. Women-built projects provide an opportunity for women to learn new skills, participate in team-building activities and make a lasting difference for children and families in the fight against poverty housing.
July 25th, 2012
Ascend Performance Materials and Bay Area Habitat are coming together for Bay Areas first ever Builder Blitz! In honor of Ascends 50th Anniversary Ascend will be sponsoring the build of a $65,000 home as well as providing over 200 volunteers within their company. To make the celebration of their anniversary even more meaningful Ascend will be building the home at their chocolate bayou work site over a two week period followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony October 13 in which the home will then be relocated to a lot in Dickinson, TX. Some of you may be wondering a couple of things, Who is Ascend Materials? What is a Builder Blitz? and Who is the home for? Continue on reading and all of these questions will be answered.
Ascend Performance Materials is a Global Leader in the production of nylon, plastics and synthetic fibers. Look around your home and their products have most likely made up the majority of your surroundings. Your carpet, clothes and personal care products are just a few to name off. Ascend has been awarded numerous times for their protection on the environment as well as their loyalty to their employees. For the third year in a row Ascend earned two separate awards at their chocolate bayou site, The Caring for Texas Award and The CSX Chemical Safety Excellence Award. The Caring for Texas Award recognizes community awareness, emergency response, security and pollution prevention. The CSX Chemical Safety Excellence Award recognizes the companies commitment to safe and hazardous removal. Ascends care and concern doesn’t stop with the environment or the community, this gratitude has extended towards their employees. The Voluntary protective Program Star which is overseen by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a rigorous inspection on effective work site based safety and health. Alvin TX, Decatur AL, and Pensacola FL are all Ascend sites that hold this star. Through these awards one can see how Ascend takes the time and consideration necessary for their employees and the community, so when I came across The Ascend Cares Foundation founded by their VP Andrew Ralston we were even more delighted to have the opportunity to work such a caring company. Ascend Cares was created to provide relief funds to employees of Ascend due to a series of tornadoes that hit northern Alabama. Ascend and Habitat think alike and that is to help and protect the community.
For those of you who are unaware of what a Builders Blitz is let me give you a rundown. It all began in Wake County, NC in 2002. Wake County Habitat and local professional home builder Tom Gipson partnered with twelve other home builders to build twelve homes in a five day period. The ending results were remarkable, all twelve homes were completed in the allotted time. The final cost (apart from the land) to habitat was $84,000. Not only was labor and materials donated, the builders were able to collect $100,000 in cash donations. With such impressive results the Builder Blitz program has progressed every year since then.
Being a part of the Builder Blitz program was an opportunity Felicia Rich and her family couldn’t pass up. Felicia is a single hard working mother of twin ten year old boys. Working as a full time certified nurses aid for mentally handicapped adults at the residences of hope village. In her spare time she earns the 300 hours of ‘sweat equity’ required to qualify for a new Habitat for humanity home, as well as working to complete the financial literacy and home ownership classes. Felicia and her boys are currently living in tight quarters at her mothers house. The twins sleep in what was once Felicia’s room, while Felicia either sleeps on the sofa or shares a bed with her sister. Felicia and her boys are eagerly anticipating the possibility of celebrating Christmas in their new home and having their own individual bedrooms to sleep in.
Mother Teresa says, “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action” Like Habitat and Ascend , Felicia puts her love into action everyday both at work and at home.
September 21st, 2010
What a great day at the worksite! We had around 50 volunteers working on 3 houses, 2 sheds, and 2 playhouses. Our volunteers worked quickly and with great care. Through their efforts, many projects were completed. The homeowners for all 3 of the houses were present and working hard! One of the greatest accomplishments of the day (and the main reason for this blog post): Thrivent Build Recipient Jackie Burns, and her family, were there to help build, and witness the raising of, all four of their home’s exterior walls!! Oh, what a feeling!…A big thank you to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for partnering with Bay Area Habitat for Humanity, and funding Jackie’s home! Also, thank you to Hope Lutheran Church, St. Bernadette’s Church, and all of the amazing volunteers who came out to work. You all are truly a blessing to one another, to this community, and to Bay Area Habitat for Humanity. Peace, Love and Hope.
To see more pictures from the day, click on the picture above. It will link you to our Picasa photo album. Also, don’t forget to check out our Facebook Page: “Bay Area Habitat for Humanity”, and our website: www.bahfh.org.