Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home.

Habitat’s partnership with PG&E, a local church and interior designers will provide temporary housing for volunteers traveling to the area from across the U.S.

Partnership with the PG&E Corporation Foundation, donors, and designers we are able to renovate the home offered by the Calvary Assembly of God Church, and to provide temporary housing for volunteers.”

— Anita Hellam, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Merced/ Stanislaus Counties

MERCED, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, March 21, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — In January of 2023, heavy rains and flooding damaged homes throughout the counties of Merced and Stanislaus, triggering a major disaster declaration by FEMA and the State of California.

“The devastation from these storms and flooding has left many sections of Merced, McSwain, Atwater, HWY 59 and particularly the community of Planada the hardest hit.’ shared Anita Hellam, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Merced/ Stanislaus Counties, ‘Since the storm, many survivors are still residing in damaged and unsafe structures and in various forms of transitional housing as they await completion of home repairs for safe and secure occupancy. Adding to the challenges we face from this storm’s damage, Habitat for Humanity has seen delays in the recruitment of volunteers due to the limited availability of temporary housing in the area – until now.”

In the nearby town of Merced, California, the Calvary Assembly of God Church owns a home which has been in need of a major overhaul. The church was unsure how to raise the funding to renovate the property until the idea to partner with Habitat for Humanity came to light. The partnership seemed heaven sent as a way to support the community and to also provide a space where Habitat could house long-term volunteers. The plan to renovate the house as temporary housing for volunteers will ensure that the surrounding communities will be able to restore, rebuild, and support surrounding communities over the next three years of the reconstruction project.

“At the initiative of Pastor Juan Ochoa, we struck a deal,” said Anita Hellam, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Merced/ Stanislaus Counties “We’re pleased to be able to help each other for the good of our entire community.”

Through a generous grant from the PG&E Corporation Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Merced/Stanislaus Counties has received much needed support, to fund this project. “PG&E is deeply committed to serving our hometowns, and we are honored to stand alongside other community leaders in the noble mission of providing shelter for volunteers who selflessly provide a helping hand to those in their greatest time of need. Our partnership reflects our shared value of compassion, demonstrating that together we can build stronger, more resilient communities for all,” said Tracy Mello, Regional Senior Manager of PG&E’s Central Valley Region.

With other project support and donations of materials and supplies to the Habitat ReStore, this project is well on its way towards becoming the temporary home for dedicated Habitat volunteers. Additional support provided by Habitat for Humanity California, Habitat for Humanity International, and First 5 of Merced County.

Hellam added “Through the generosity of PG&E Corporation Foundation, other donors, and local interior design experts we are now able to renovate the home offered by the Calvary Assembly of God Church. The remodel of this home will become possible, and will provide temporary housing for long-term volunteers traveling to Merced County from across the U.S.”

Ms. Hellam’s development of key relationships in her community also resulted in area interior designers stepping up to assist with space planning, layout and material specification. Participating designers include: Wendy Glaister and Stephanie Poulsen, Wendy Glaister Interiors, @wendyglaisterinteriors, Sarah Grover, Suite 52 Living, @suite52living, Monica Salvador, Valley Interiors, @valleyinteriorsmonica, Leila Mendoza and Adri Denlinger, 1720 Design Studio, Inc. @1720design_studio.

“I have been having lunch almost every month for about a year with the Habitat for Humanity CEO, Anita Hellam and looking forward to any opportunity to see where I might be able to help out. When she mentioned this special project, I immediately thought of my friends in design here locally. We all share the same faith and desire to do something to benefit our community.” Wendy Glaister shared.

In addition to donating their time and expertise to this remodel project’s overall success, these designers will work alongside Habitat crews, utilizing donations from the Habitat ReStore to renovate the home on the church’s property.

The renovation project will double the bathroom capacity as well as the kitchen, and there will be other design features added by the interior designers to enhance the main living area. Construction is now underway and is estimated to be completed by the beginning of April 2024, at which time Habitat may welcome a stream of skilled volunteers from around the country, who are focused on rebuilding and repairing homes hardest hit by the 2023 storms.

About
HABITAT MERCED/STANISLAUS COUNTIES
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. Working in local communities across all 50 states and in more than 70 countries around the world, Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat works toward this vision by building and improving homes in partnership with individuals and families in need of a decent and affordable place to live. We believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities. By partnering with Habitat, families and communities transform their lives with the incredible effects of safe and affordable shelter, including improvements in health, safety, child development, economic opportunity and educational achievement.

CALVARY ASSEMBLY OF GOD
Located at R and 10th Street, the church has been serving neighbors with its youth outreach program and with other initiatives designed to serve its diverse and expansive community. Both Habitat and church members serve on the Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG) where, with other nonprofits, they receive regular recovery updates and help support the communities still severely affected by the winter disasters.
To celebrate the grand opening of our Volunteer Hub, the public is invited to join us for a ribbon cutting Friday, April 5th at 10:00 am at 1157 10th Street, Merced.

The PG&E Corporation Foundation
The PG&E Corporation Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, separate from PG&E and sponsored by PG&E Corporation.
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Anita Hellam
Habitat for Humanity Merced/ Stanislaus Counties
+1 209-575-4585
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