Habitat for Humanity volunteers help SoCal veteran get dream home his family has needed for years

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Friday, December 16, 2022
Habitat for Humanity helps local veteran, his family get dream home
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"It's going to be a life changing experience for my children and me." A local Army veteran received help from Habitat for Humanity and saw his family's dream of a new home come true.

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Housing can be a big issue for many veterans coming out of service. One volunteer group is helping a local veteran get the dream home he and his family have needed for years.

It's said these homes are built with love, grace, dedication and a lot of volunteers through a program of the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.

"Housing in particular tends to be a big issue for those who have served our country and come out of the military and have to find new places to live," said Faith Mellinger, director of marketing and communications at the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.

The goal is to give families in need the chance to buy property at an affordable price. Seven members of the 2023 Rose Parade Royal Court helped paint the building.

"Now being able to serve them in a way where we're helping them get a home and have a home for their family and themselves is just amazing," said Michelle Cortez-Peralta, a royal court member.

In order to qualify, candidates put in hours constructing projects for Habitat for Humanity. Little did Army veteran Rene Hernandez know that the house he was working on would be the home his family of five would soon move into.

"It's going to be a life changing experience for my children and me," said Hernandez.

The new home is a big upgrade from the apartment Hernandez, his wife and kids have been living in for 20 years. He'd been trying to buy an affordable home for them, but circumstances have been tough.

"Giving up their time to make this happen for us... we're very grateful for that," said Hernandez.

The site manager says anyone who comes out to build houses like these doesn't need to have a construction background.

"If they don't have any skills, we teach them and we show them how," said Luis Alberto Jimenez. "These homes are built with a lot of love and dedication from our volunteers. We cannot do it without them and I call them the village."

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