Bishop Vann joined 45 volunteers last month on a Habitat for Humanity of Orange County build site to bless the homes, volunteers, and future homeowners. Joined by Fr. Tim of Corpus Christi, Bishop Vann was in Tustin to see the progress on the two-home development.
I can give a personal recommendation to the work of Habitat for Humanity, since I was involved in it two different pastorates in Decatur, Illinois and in Springfield, Illinois,” said Bishop Vann. “I saw how it brings folks together in common purpose and mission across denominational lines, and the joy in the faces of the new homeowners.”
Both homes will be sold to qualified veteran families. One future homeowner, Eduardo, was on site when the Bishop visited. Following the blessing, Eduardo and his daughter Luna toured their future home where Luna started to pick out her bedroom. The homes will be completed in December, and Eduardo and Luna are looking forward to moving in time for Christmas.
More than $150,000 was raised for the construction of the two affordable homes by the Catholic Coalition, a group of 25 Orange County parishes and Catholic organizations that have come together to support the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. In addition to the money raised for the development, Catholic Coalition members have donated thousands of volunteer hours preparing the site and building the homes. The Catholic Coalition was created in 2017 by Habitat for Humanity of Orange County staff and volunteers, and has rapidly grown to a significant fundraising and volunteer team. “Not even I could bring that many groups together,” said Bishop Vann.
In order to qualify for a Habitat home, Eduardo had to demonstrate a need for affordable housing and an ability to pay as he will be taking on a mortgage for his new home. Eduardo, like other Habitat OC families, also donates “sweat equity” — time spent volunteering on the construction site and attending Habitat OC classes on homeownership, financial planning, and college prep.
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County believes in building a world where everyone has a decent place to live. In order to afford a home in Orange County, a family needs to work full-time at more than $40 an hour, which is four times the minimum wage. This makes homeownership an impossible dream for many Orange County families.
To help more families gain strength, stability, and self-reliance through home ownership, the Catholic Coalition will be partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County on the construction of 12 new affordable homes in the city of Fullerton. Construction on these homes, which will be sold to qualified, low-income families, began in September.
Learn more about the Catholic Coalition and Habitat OC by visiting HabitatOC.org/CatholicCoalition.