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From Home Furnishing Business

Habitat for Humanity Gets Industry Support to Make a Bigger Impact

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 (in California), 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 serves as a way to support the community and to 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.

“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,” Hellam added

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 and Design, @valleyinteriorsmonica, Leila Mendoza and Adri Denlinger, 1720 Design Studio, Inc. @1720design_studio.

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. 

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