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Partnerships - February 2019
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Coming Together in Prayer on February 9th

Prayer Walk Kicks Off Construction in Central West Fresno! 

Before we start the construction of each new project, we host a Prayer Walk to declare a blessing on the community we are about to impact. On Saturday, February 9th, we held our Central West Prayer Walk to pray for the families we will serve and the community we will impact, to give thanks to our donors for making projects possible, and to ask for strength and good health to all the volunteers that build these fine homes and to our families we have selected to receive these blessings. We also ask for God's hand in guiding our entire team to be good stewards of His work.  

We believe in the power of prayer and ask if you are interested in partnering with us through volunteering, donating, or prayer visits go here to learn more. 

Donating Made EVEN Easier . . . 
Looking for an easy way to donate to Habitat for Humanity? Support Habitat for Humanity California through your state tax return and help us build in California where everyone has a decent place to live.

Contribute $1 or more through the Voluntary Contribution Fund section of your 2018 California tax return. You can find us on line 437 on Form 540.

It’s tax deductible and provides much needed funding to combat California’s housing crisis!  Go here to learn more.
VAC Apprentices Making A Difference

Apprenticeship Program Expands Our Capacity 
“Thanks to our new partnership with the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and their Valley Apprenticeship Connection program, or VAC, we are now able to serve the needs of many more residents in our community,” explains Ashley Hedemann, Habitat’s Volunteer Experience Coordinator.

 
VAC is a local apprenticeship program that provides adult men and women the opportunity to have 12 weeks of hands-on training to prepare them to work in the construction industry.
    
The partnership began late last year and already 40 VAC apprentices have volunteered a total of 325 hours in Habitat’s Acts of Kindness and Senior Paint Programs.

Former Fresno City Councilmember Oliver Baines is the founder of the VAC program and spearheaded the Habitat partnership.
    
“Our students learned soft skills in the three years since we began, but we wanted to give them more hands-on experience and also more connections with actual job sites,” Baines recalled.  “I was familiar with Habitat—they are a phenomenal organization—and I already knew their mission fit with our goals, so I called Matthew and about a week later, our partnership began.”
 
Baines said the students have enjoyed their volunteer work with Habitat and many of them weren’t familiar with what Habitat did beforehand.  “The Habitat partnership has meant a great deal to us,” Baines explained.  “From our perspective, our students get ‘two for one:’ they get hands-on experience to enhance their careers and they get to help others while learning more about the needs in their community.”
    
Thank you to the EOC, to VAC and to Oliver Baines for joining with Habitat to make it possible for us to serve more families together.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Ashley Hedemann by clicking here

(Top left) Allen and his mother (top right) Gladys with Habitat staff & volunteers

Partnership Helps Keep Families Mobile 

When the Neighborhood Revitalization team was tasked with identifying projects that were in line with Thrivent Foundation’s mission, they immediately knew that The Woods Mobile Home Park in Clovis was a place where they can “change the odds for those who struggle.”
 
With the goal of improved accessibility, the help of volunteers, and Thrivent’s financial support, the lives of five Clovis residents is forever changed…and for the better! For the Browns, a husband and wife both in their 80s, their main entry steps presented a dreaded daily struggle for basic activities like retrieving mail. The height of each step presented a safety risk, while the overall appearance of the steps were worn and weathered from being exposed to the elements. Rosalee Brown adds, “We’ve never been able to walk down the steps before…now we can, and they look just perfect!”
 
“The inability to safely enter and exit one’s home is very common amongst aging homeowners,” explains Jerry Zuniga, Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager. “By redesigning the existing steps so the height of each step is reduced, we are empowering residents to stay independent in their homes and age in place. This is especially true for residents aging in mobile home communities.”
 
The new steps go beyond improving the lives for these five residents and their spouses, but also for their caregivers. The Zaillian family is another candidate whose existing steps were worn and had become unsteady from being exposed to the elements for many years. At age 95, Gladys Zaillian is now cared for by her son who is nearly 70 years old, and experiencing a decline in his own mobility. “It is so much easier for me to walk down the steps now,” says Allen Zaillian. “I can walk straight forward, rather than having to step sideways.” 
 
Bonnie McCarty is another homeowner who was impacted by the inability to use her steps. “I never used my steps before…I’d have to go out of my way, all around my house, just to get my mail each day. And I always worried my visitors would fall through the old ones.” Bonnie’s concerns are easily compounded in communities like this, where socialization with neighbors is an important daily activity.
 
As we reflect on the impact of these step projects, whether it was enabling greater independence, assisting with the care of a loved one, or improving the quality of life through safe interactions with friends and family, the goal of changing odds for those that struggle was achieved. Thank you to Thrivent for their generosity and caring to make this a reality for these families!!!

If you or someone you know might need our assistance, please click here to complete our interest form.

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Habitat for Humanity Fresno County
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