The Journey Begins

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.”

From Apartment Renter to Home Owner: Fully Paid Mortgage

June 17th, 2013

 CantuFamiliyThis 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.

Ascend and Bay Area Habitat Unite!

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.




Thrivent Build Wall Raising 9/18/10

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: