Habitat for Humanity hosts Veterans Build across Chicagoland

Veteran volunteers join Habitat November 3-5 to build affordable housing…

Veteran volunteers join Habitat November 3-5 to build affordable housing.

CHICAGO (October 6, 2022) – Continuing a program that has been both a local and national success, Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity is kicking off Veterans Build 2022 at all eight area affiliates on November 3-5, welcoming hundreds of veterans and veteran supporters to build with Habitat for Humanity, and to raise funding and awareness for affordable housing for veterans. The event will include a program on November 4th in Joliet, featuring speakers and a future Habitat homeowner, who is also a U.S. Army veteran.

“A suitable home is the foundation for the well-being of a veteran and their family, especially given their service to defending our nation’s freedom,” said Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Terry Prince, one of the Habitat program’s featured speakers.

Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build program helps military-connected families with affordable housing, home repairs, volunteer opportunities, as well as the educational services to help prepare them with the financial tools they need for successful home ownership. Since starting the program in 2013, over 6,600 veterans and their families across the U.S. have partnered with Habitat to access the benefits of affordable housing.

“Many people think that VA Home Loans are available to all veterans, but the reality is that many veterans do not qualify for those loans,” said Leslie Rodriguez, Veteran Engagement Specialist for Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity, and herself a U.S. Navy veteran. “That’s where Habitat for Humanity can help, as we serve families who have steady incomes, but do not qualify for traditional mortgages.”

LaVonda is the future Habitat homeowner who will speak at the program. She did not have sufficient income for a VA Home Loan but has qualified for Will County Habitat for Humanity’s program. She will provide a cash down payment, pay an affordable mortgage, and complete 500 hours of “sweat equity” that Habitat requires of all home buyers. “My daughter wants to be able to have a pet cat and a pink bedroom, and with Habitat’s support of veterans, she’ll be able to have both.” Once construction begins on her home, she’ll join other volunteers to focus on building that, and she says she looks forward to the feeling of satisfaction believes will come from helping build her own home.

With funding from this year’s lead sponsor The Home Depot Foundation, 250 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, The Mission Continues, Team Red White and Blue, Travis Manion Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project as well as corporate veteran employee groups from Chicago Transit Authority, Chamberlain, G2, The Home Depot/Team Depot, UL and Wesco.

The 12pm program on November 4th will feature Terry Prince, as well as Megan Everett, Director, Veterans Portfolio, Robert R. McCormick Foundation; Dave Neary, Associate Director of Will County Habitat; and LaVonda, the future Habitat Homeowner.

Visit chicagolandhabitat.org/VeteransBuild for more information or to RSVP to attend the program. #2022VeteransBuild.

Individual Tickets

Can’t attend but would like to support the event? Click here to make an online donation!

First Look for Charity 2023 Tickets

Official Hotel


Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

The Chicago Auto Show is proud to announce its continued partnership with the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place as the official hotel for the 2023 Chicago Auto Show.

Just a 5-minute indoor walk from the McCormick Place show floor, experience modern guestrooms and sweeping views of the Chicago Skyline. Overnight guests of the hotel will receive a 15% discount at our multiple on-site food and beverage outlets.

The negotiated rate for First Look for Charity, scheduled for Friday, February 10 is $143*. Internet and health club/pool access is included with the price of the room.

Vehicle Giveaway

One highlight of the First Look for Charity is the vehicle giveaway. Over the years, lucky winners have driven off with the keys to 50 vehicles, including a Chevrolet Corvette and Dodge Viper. Any attendee who has purchased a ticket is eligible to win. However, the winner must be present at the time of the drawing.

This year, the giveaway vehicles are a 2023 Honda CR-V Touring Hybrid or a 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Sport. Winner must be present at the time of the drawing.

[1] A random drawing of ticket stubs for all attendees at the First Look for Charity Event with be made upon open stage during the course of the event. Vehicle(s) will be awarded at that time. If the owner of the winning ticket stub drawn fails to claim prize within a reasonable time, as determined solely by the Chicago Auto Trade Association, his right to the vehicle will be forfeited and an additional ticket stub will be drawn. The odds of winning depend upon the number of ticket stubs collected. Substitutions for the vehicle are not permitted; there are no cash award alternatives. Void where prohibited by law. Winner agrees to permit the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and/or the First Look for Charity Foundation to use his/her picture for future publicity and promotion without compensation. Winner further agrees to provide name, address and Social Security number to the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and/or the First Look for Charity Foundation, and to be responsible for any and all taxes, including Federal and State income taxes, state and local sales taxes or excise taxes, as applicable. Winner further acknowledges that he/she will be provided a Federal Form 1099 at year end indicating the full value of the prize awarded.