BUILDING HOMES FOR VETS

A coalition of Orange County Catholic churches has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to build two affordable homes for local veteran families in the city of Tustin. Home construction will start in mid-2017, but the Catholic Coalition is already actively raising funds for the new development.

The Tustin neighborhood will mark the first time a coalition of Catholic churches in Orange County has specifically built a home targeted for a veteran family alongside Habitat OC.

Since its formation in 1988, Habitat OC has built and sold 205 homes for qualified families.

“We believe that families gain strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter,” said Sharon Ellis, President and CEO of Habitat OC. “Our work with the Catholic Coalition is going to give two families a chance to truly transform their lives.

”The Catholic Coalition began in early 2016 with a core group of Catholic churches attempting to address the growing need for stable, affordable housing in Orange County. In August Bishop Kevin Vann formally endorsed the partnership with Habitat OC through a letter, citing his past experiences with Habitat affiliates in Illinois.

“Many of our families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads,” wrote Bishop Vann. “This is a very good project for us to be involved in, and would ask that you give it serious and kind consideration.” To date, 20 parishes have joined the coalition and more are expected to be join the effort throughout 2017.

Catholic Coalition committee members are eager to begin working on the Tustin neighborhood, and turning the dirt lot into safe, secure homes.

“A home is where a family can live, learn, grow, laugh, cry and be together,” said Bill Schafer, committee member. “A place where feelings are shared, memories are made, moments are treasured and love flourishes.”For further information on the Catholic Coalition and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, contact Tristen Seagondollar, Faith Relations Manager, at (714) 434-6200 x226 or Tristen@habitatoc.org.

community stories