Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County Homes

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Family delivering lunch to volunteers at Frederick Street - Donate Please

Frederick Street – Would you like to Donate?? Please consider
Dawn Lane – Built and completed 8-2010
Blake Street – Soon to be Completed – Like to Donate?

I hope these few photos will help you to see just a little of the good work Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County has accomplished.  I only hope you can join me by contributing, volunteering or helping in any way you can to allow this organization to continue its mission here in the Santa Cruz County.

Visit their website and see what you can do to help. http://www.habitatsc.org/

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Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County – continues

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Prior to my becoming a member of the Board of Directors, the Frederick Street, Santa Cruz construction project was completed. This became Habitat’s 34th home in Santa Cruz County. This home was built with 500 hours of homeowner sweat equity and the help of over 100 volunteers contributing 6000 hours of labor.

Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County is currently under construction of three new affordable homes on Blake Lane in Scotts Valley. The families have been selected for these homes, and will soon begin working with volunteers to build their homes. These three homes are scheduled for completion early in 2013.

Our current main project is to secure at least one new lot so we can start building our 38th home right after the completion of the Blake Lane project. If you or someone you know can aid us in the start of this project please contact us now. Starting this project will allow us to continue with experienced volunteers and leaders.

Currently we are in the process of developing plans for our largest home build. With the past donation of a one acre plot of land on Rodriguez Street and the in kind donation from
Bowman and Williams, Consulting and Civil Engineering
1011 Cedar Street
Santa Cruz, California

we may be able to start construction around mid to end of 2014. This project requires much more planning and development than a single home project. This is why it is so important that we fill the gap with our 38th project.

I joined Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County because I want to contribute to this community. I am very hopeful that my becoming a member will assist this worthwhile organization to continue developing homes for individuals living and working in our society. I hope you can join me by contributing, volunteering or helping in any way you can to allow this organization to continue its mission here in the Santa Cruz County.

Visit our website and see what you can do to help. http://www.habitatsc.org/

Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County – continue

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After becoming a member of the Board I learned of the many accomplishments of this wonderful organization. I learned how in the past few years and under the leadership of Ms Melanie Shaffer Freitas the organization evolved. It improved the following items:

• Increased the visibility and name recognition of Habitat in the community
• Developed a “pipeline” of projects that will sustain the organization for the next 3-5 years
• Evolved from an organization that just reacted to one with a strategic plan
• Secured the highest level ever of financial support for the organization
• Cultivated a highly committed and professional Board of Directors
• Hired and trained professional employees to support the organization
• Increased the number of volunteers and engaged volunteers with a variety of skills
• Doubled the asset base of the organization

Volunteers and contributors are critical to the success of the Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County program. Volunteers are involved in construction, fundraising, advocacy, administration, committee work and more. . I learned that each Habitat affiliate, including the Santa Cruz County organization is completely self-reliant. They do not receive any funding from Habitat International.

The Habitat organization gratefully accepts contributions from corporations, individuals, foundations, civic and faith-based organizations. If you would like to become a contributor to Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County please visit the web site: http://www.habitatsc.org/

Habitat for Humanity – continues

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Prior to becoming a member of the Board of Directors I learned that Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County is an independent and locally operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. During the past twenty years volunteers and families have built more than 30 homes in the community. The Habitat program is not a giveaway program. Habitat homes are purchased by families who make a down payment and pay a monthly mortgage. Mortgages are provided to the new homeowner by Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County at 0% interest. However, to build new affordable homes in the county, Habitat must purchase suitable properties (or have property donated) and fund the building of the house with upfront money. Habitat can only fund these projects with the support of contributions from people who care to help.

This unique approach to providing affordable homeownership is based on the following:

• Homes are built with mostly volunteer labor
• Homes are built with donated funds
• Homes are constructed with donated materials
• Homes are sold at cost to qualifying families
• Mortgage payments are reinvested to help fund the construction of future Habitat homes

In addition to first time affordable home ownership. Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County has an education program whereby partner families attend workshops on budgeting, conflict resolution, home maintenance, repair and landscaping. These workshops aid families to start to acquire the skills that will enable them to establish a foundation upon which they can gain economic stability and build a brighter future for their children.

http://www.habitatsc.org/

Habitat for Humanity – continues

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After meeting Marti and finding out just how much we enjoyed spending time together, I found myself a resident of Aptos, California. We live in a beautiful home just a short walk (two blocks) to the beach. At night I can hear the surf pounding the sandy beach and sleep comes quickly. My mornings are wonderful with the sights and sounds of a fresh new day starting. At first I was captivated by everything new and unique and my days were filled with discovery. Then as the newness became commonplace I began to wonder just what could I do to fill my day.

Marti and I talked about this and I decided that I would like to donate my time to something that would benefit young people. During my career in Silicon Valley I had donated my time to helping young people. These young individuals had made a mistake in their life but were now trying to turn their life around. The organization I joined assisted these young people by finding jobs, providing guidance, and acknowledging their success. It made me feel good that I was contributing.

One day soon after our discussion Marti suggested that I talk with Melanie Shaffer Freitas and discuss the possibility of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Santa Cruz County. I talked with Melanie and after my discussion I did a little research on the organization. I was very pleased to discover that both the organization and Ms. Shaffer were viewed as a positive force within the community. I learned of the evolution of this non-profit agency and its accomplishments. In addition to the organization I learned about the Executive Director, Ms Freitas and her accomplishments as well as her creditability in the community. I was hooked. I wanted to belong. I wanted to be a part of this positive team. Lucky for me I was asked to join the team and become a Member of the Board of Directors.

Habitat for Humanity of Santa Cruz County

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I Joined Habitat for Humanity of Santa Cruz County!

Here is a little story about my joining a worthy organization. I was born in San Jose, California. My parents (Frank and Rose) raised me in San Jose, California. I graduated from High School in San Jose, California. I earned my BS degree from the California State University at Hayward and my MBA from the University of Santa Clara. However, during both my college days and my graduate school days I lived in San Jose, California. In fact, I lived in San Jose, California almost all of my life except when I chose to move in with Marti in Aptos, California. I moved in with Marti at age 64.

After moving to Aptos, California I was lost. I had spent all of my past life in the city of San Jose, California. I had lived in the great Silicon Valley. In fact, I not only lived in Silicon Valley I grew up during the same time the valley was changing from a wonderful agricultural valley into the world’s original Silicon Valley. Sure I had spent time in Santa Cruz County. First as a boy I remember visiting the area with my parents for a day at the beach. My parents loved the beaches at Seacliff and New Brighton. They were very pleased with the little city of Capitola. I remember spending my summers at the Venetian. It is a beautiful condo that is located on the beach. The Venetian condos are next to a river, it is really the Soquel Creek that flows into the Monterey bay. There were occasional times when our family would visit the beach for just one day. I remember those very long walks back to the family car from the beach. Parking was a problem then and still is a problem today.

As a young man I remember going to the beach with my buddies so we can pick up girls. Those were fun trips but I do not remember picking up many girls. Some of my best memories were visiting the beaches and towns with my girlfriend, Monica. We enjoyed both the beach and the boardwalk. I married her and we lived a wonderful life for thirty-eight years until she passed away. We would take our daughters to the beach for a picnic and I would watch them play in the surf. It was always fun and always beautiful. I even worked in the city of Santa Cruz for five years at an electronic manufacturer of headsets, Plantronics. That was my experience with Santa Cruz County.