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.