Habitat for Humanity to Build More Families’ Dreams

Photo courtesy SGVHH
Glendale residents Kevin Garcia and Magaly Duarte Garcia pose with their three sons at the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity home dedication ceremony last year. The family is celebrating one year of living in their own home.

It’s been nearly one year since San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity helped Magaly Duarte Garcia and her family move into their forever home in Glendale, but the mother of three boys can still hardly believe their good fortune.
“I wake up every day, just so grateful to be able to call it my home and knowing we have security for my family. It’s taken so much stress away,” Duarte Garcia said. “This pandemic has been very stressful, but owning our own home and having space for the boys to study and have their own rooms, it has been a blessing.”
Before Duarte Garcia and her husband, Kevin Garcia, were chosen as homeowners to partner with SGVHH, they and the boys shared a two-bedroom apartment with her mother and sister. The family was constantly trying to stay quiet and out of the landlord’s sight for fear of eviction for overcrowding; at night, the two parents would anxiously shush the busy boys to not jump or run or disturb the neighbors. One of her sons, who is autistic, had a hard time being confined in such a small space and would try to run away.

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Habitat for Humanity to Build More Families’ Dreams

Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity
San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Mark Van Lue takes a selfie with attendees at the Lomitas Avenue home dedication ceremony in Glendale, where the nonprofit built six town homes. Soon, SGVHH will launch its ambitious “Expanding the American Dream” initiative to serve 100 families over three years.

It’s been nearly one year since San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity helped Magaly Duarte Garcia and her family move into their forever home, but the mother of three boys can still hardly believe their good fortune.
“I wake up every day, just so grateful to be able to call it my home and knowing we have security for my family. It’s taken so much stress away,” Duarte Garcia said. “This pandemic has been very stressful, but owning our own home and having space for the boys to study and have their own rooms, it has been a blessing.”
Before Duarte Garcia and her husband were chosen as homeowners to partner with SGVHH, they and the boys shared a two-bedroom apartment with her mother and sister. The family was constantly trying to stay quiet and out of the landlord’s sight for fear of eviction for overcrowding; at night, the two parents would anxiously shush the busy boys to not jump or run or disturb the neighbors. One of her sons, who is autistic, had a hard time being confined in such a small space and would try to run away.

Continue reading “Habitat for Humanity to Build More Families’ Dreams”

At Habitat for Humanity, It’s the Giving Season

Greg Barsamian
Greg Barsamian

Nearly 75 San Gabriel Valley families are grateful — on Thanksgiving and every other day — for San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity, which afforded them the opportunity to own their own homes.
Since it was founded in 1990, the San Gabriel Valley affiliate of Habitat for Humanity has made homeownership, and all its benefits, possible for those families.
“It’s pretty incredible,” said La Cañada Flintridge resident Greg Barsamian, who is the managing principal for Glendale-based Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance and president of Habitat’s volunteer board of directors.
“On the commercial side, a lot of times when I move companies into a new building, the employees dress better, morale goes up, people just feel a sense of pride,” Barsamian continued. “This is like 10 times that. For someone who’s coming out of South Central L.A. where they heard gunshots every night, and they have little kids, or they’re immigrants — their sense of pride in their home, it’s off the hook.” Continue reading “At Habitat for Humanity, It’s the Giving Season”