Celebs 4 Vets helping over a dozen veterans get new homes in Santa Clarita

Sunday, August 26, 2018
Celebs 4 Vets helping over a dozen vets get new homes in Santa Clarita
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More than a dozen local veterans and their families will soon have new homes in Santa Clarita, thanks to the second annual Celebs 4 Vets event.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- More than a dozen local veterans and their families will soon have new homes in Santa Clarita, thanks to the organization Homes 4 Families.

U.S. Army veteran Michael Reyes said he felt overwhelmed with gratitude as he joined volunteers building his - and fellow vets - future homes.

"Our two kids are finally going to have a home of their own, they're going to have their own rooms, they're not going to have to worry about us moving again," Reyes said.

The second annual Celebs 4 Vets event was going on Saturday in the Homes 4 Families' enriched neighborhood in Santa Clarita, where 18 new houses will soon be completed for low-income veterans.

"Veterans have basically written a blank check for their lives, and when they come back, I feel like this is the least we can do - to give them a safe place to call home," said Danielle De Leon, director of corporate and community engagement for Homes 4 Families.

These homes provide so much more than just housing. The community is made up entirely of veterans and their families, creating a unique support system.

"It's about a community, it's about building self-sufficiency, it's about reintegration, it's about providing services so that the families are successful within their homes," De Leon said.

The houses are all designed with veterans and PTSD in mind. They all have soft-close drawers, large windows to allow in natural light and solar panels to help reduce costs.

Nearly two dozen celebrities joined in to mix concrete, work with wood and help make dreams of homeownership come true.

"You're kind of serving your country, if you will. You're serving the people that served you by building them a home that they can afford," said veteran and actor Jon Huertas.

Huertas served in the U.S. Air Force for eight years and understands the struggles veterans go through.

"Sometimes the transition from active duty to civilian life -- it's not always super easy because of what you've been through. The lifestyle in the military is so different from the civilian lifestyle, so it's not so easy to always find a home," he said.

Everyone who joined in enjoyed themselves.

"It's been a lot of fun so far. We're not too far into it, but we're already all sweaty! But it's extremely fun, and it's just a great cause to allow people to have a home. I think that's something a lot of people take for granted," shared actor Tanner Buchanan.

Taking his home for granted is something Reyes will never do.

"It will just be overwhelming happiness to finally walk into that house," he said.

The homes are expected to be completed in November.