January 2016

In this issue:
Critical Home Repairs Lowe's End of Year Proejct
Habitat for Humanity CaliforniaJewish Coalition


Happy New Year from all of us at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA)! Year after year our resolution is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. We invite you to join us in making 2016 a brighter year for more hardworking, low-income homebuyers and homeowners. Please remember that when you get involved with Habitat LA, you are strengthening lives, neighborhoods and Building a Greater Los Angeles! Here's to a great 2016!

Belete Belhu really wanted a chance to work as a volunteer on a home-building project for Habitat LA. It seemed like a good way to gain some construction skills and also help a worthy family get a chance at homeownership -- a dream he also shared.
Today, Belhu, a native of Ethiopia and a U.S. Army veteran, finds himself helping to build a three-bedroom, two-story Habitat house. But this is not just volunteer work. He is realizing his dream by building his family's future home.  
His new home is half completed. It will be a "green" house specially designed by students at the Southern California Institute of Architecture with everything from solar panels on the roof to a system to recycle water to irrigate a garden in a ground-floor atrium.
Belhu, his wife Betelhem and daughters Sabella, 5, and Rodas, 6 months, currently live in a cramped 450-square-foot apartment in Los Angeles. 
"It is truly a dream come true," smiled Belhu, taking a break on a recent afternoon at the worksite.
Their family is eagerly anticipating moving into their new home. Belhu is contributing 500 hours of work on this and other Habitat projects, part of the "sweat equity" down payment required of each homeowner.  Part of that work included four weeks working on another Habitat house recently completed next door. 
Read the complete story on our blog HERE.

Over the holidays we received many generous donations to our critical home repair program but we still need help to serve the 30 low-income families, veterans and senior citizens in our pipeline. To date, we've raised over 80% of our goal to help these families. Please consider making a donation before February 1st to help families who are in critical need of health and safety related repairs. 

Please click HERE to make your gift today. 


Help build a better California by supporting Habitat for Humanity California with your California State Tax Return. There are more than 100,000 non-profits in California and Habitat for Humanity is one of 20 that you can donate to by designating a contribution in box number 428 next to "Habitat for Humanity Fund." A voluntary contribution is an election made by the taxpayer to designate a portion or all of their tax return to charitable funds. 

Click HERE to find out how to donate on your tax return!
The ReStore, which sells donated furniture, appliances and building materials to fund Habitat LA's affordable homeownership and home repair programs, is ready for a busy 2016! Last year's sales were our strongest to date and business is booming. In order to keep up with inventory and donations, our truck fleet now consists of eight trucks picking up seven days a week in 181 zip codes throughout greater Los Angeles. Support our ReStore by donating and shopping seven days a week from 8:30am to 7:30pm! 

Click HERE to find our ReStore locations in Torrance and Bellflower. 


Our Adopt-A-Family program is always a wonderful way to bring holiday cheer to our new partner homeowners. This year, we raised over $7,000 to help Habitat LA homeowners, including children, senior citizens, disabled, veteran and military families experience the magic of the holidays. The first year of homeownership can sometimes be costly with down payments and moving costs. To help make their holidays magical, our donors help us to provide each participating family with a basket filled with gifts and gift cards. Gifts were presented to our families during a festive party at Lakewood Country Club that even included a special visit from Santa!

Click HERE to view more photos! 

Can we build it? Yes we can! We were fortunate to recently receive a little help on our Hyde Park site in Inglewood from Bob the Builder, Mario Lopez and employee volunteers from Mattel, Inc.
This special build day celebrated the re-launch of the Bob the Builder™ series on PBS Kids. Volunteers came together to promote teamwork as they helped build three Habitat LA homes currently under construction. At the end of the day, local children joined in to make gifts for the future partner homebuyers. Everyone who participated in the day made an impact on the community and went home feeling sore but great!

Habitat LA has formed its first Jewish Coalition, which is a new partnership with leaders and members of local synagogues. The coalition is made up of different denominations within Judaism and has a goal to sponsor a Habitat LA home this year. This home will be the first in Habitat LA's history to be funded and built solely by the hands and hearts of the LA Jewish community. Upcoming opportunities include coalition meetings and an informational luncheon on a Habitat LA build site in Inglewood. For more information, contact Jordan Markovic, Habitat LA Faith Relations Coordinator, at [email protected] or (424) 246-3652.

We were thrilled to receive the news on December 14, 2015 that Culver City approved the transfer of land to Habitat LA, where we will build a 10 home development. Thank you to the Culver City Council and our many supporters for putting in the hours to make this project a reality. We can't wait to get started!

Last year, Habitat LA celebrated 10 years of partnership with Thrivent Financial as well as the completion of their 10th and 11th homes in greater Los Angeles. Thrivent Financial will continue their partnership with us in 2016 to help build a greater Los Angeles! The financial services membership organization is donating $225K to support two homes with Habitat LA this year. Over the years, Thrivent Financial has invested $200 million to help build more than 4,000 Habitat for Humanity homes across the US and around the world.

Habitat LA partnered with Lowe's for an end of year community service project in Watts. Volunteers put their "green thumbs" to work building raised garden beds alongside families from the neighborhood. Lowe's employees also led a brief clinic on how to grow and care for fresh vegetables and herbs. Click HERE to view more photos.