CHICAGO (October 10, 2023) — Continuing a program that has been both a local and national success, Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity is kicking off Veterans Build 2023 at seven area affiliate locations on November 2-4, welcoming hundreds of veterans and veteran supporters to build with Habitat for Humanity, and to raise funding for and awareness of affordable housing and repairs for veterans. The event will include a program on November 3rd in McHenry, featuring speakers and a U.S. Army veteran who is receiving critical home repairs through Habitat.
“Home is where the heart is – until unexpected repairs, maintenance costs and safety concerns become too difficult for our veterans and their families to handle,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Terry Prince, one of the featured speakers on November 3rd. “That is why I am excited to join the Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity, and volunteers across the region, during Veterans Build. Many of our veterans are dealing with disabilities and economic challenges that may preclude them from getting the maintenance they need to ensure their home is accessible, safe, and healthy. That is where the Veterans Build effort comes in, to ensure these needs are met – with dignity and honor. Given their dedicated service to our nation, we owe them that and more.”
Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build program helps military-connected families to purchase homes with affordable mortgages, secure home repairs, as well as receive educational services to help prepare for successful home ownership. Since starting the program in 2013, over 8,800 veterans and their families across the U.S. have partnered with Habitat to access the benefits of affordable housing.
“Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build program assists veterans looking for homeownership or home repairs, but it also engages veterans as volunteers in this work. Veterans can both help veterans, and volunteer with veterans in their community,” said Leslie Rodriguez, Veteran Engagement Specialist for Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity, and herself a U.S. Navy veteran.
Philip is a combat veteran of the U.S Army who will speak during the event. After serving his country honorably, he now dedicates his time to helping veterans as a program coordinator at Veterans Path to Hope in Crystal Lake. Philip purchased a home in May, then discovered many repairs were needed. He felt he had nowhere to turn. Habitat for Humanity partnered with Philip to provide those repairs. “My life revolves around my son. I want to make sure he has a nice home to grow up in and one day hope to pass it down to him.”
This year, over 200 volunteers from veteran organizations across the Chicagoland region will be participating to help create a world where everyone has a decent place to live, including Chicago Veterans, Merging Vets & Players, The Mission Continues, Team Red White and Blue, Travis Manion Foundation, Road Home Program at Rush, Veterans Assistance Commission of Cook County, Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County, and Veterans Path to Hope as well as corporate veteran employee groups from Behr Paint Company, Chicago Transit Authority, RedMane Technology, The Home Depot/Team Depot, UL Solutions, and Wintrust Mortgage.
The 12pm program on November 3rd will feature Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ Director Terry Prince, as well as fellow veterans Sara Davis, Director of Community Operations, Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County; Michael Iwanicki, Superintendent, Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County; James Harris, Senior Vice President, Wintrust Mortgage, which is a Neighborhood Sponsor of the 2023 Veterans Build; and Philip, the featured veteran receiving critical home repairs.
Visit www.chicagolandhabitat.org/VeteransBuild for more information, to donate to support veteran housing needs, or to RSVP to attend the program. #2023VeteransBuild