This last year has shed light on what makes Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County such a remarkable organization; “He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata,” It is the people, it is the people, it is the people (Maori proverb). From donating, to swinging a hammer and bringing awareness to the lack of affordable housing in Sonoma County, your help and contributions have been instrumental to our enduring success.

Our passion and dedication have never faltered. At Habitat, we continue to pursue our mission of providing Sonoma County families with a simple, decent, and affordable place to live. Close to a year has gone by since our homeowners, affected by the 2017 wildfires, moved into their Habitat cottages. They are all still happily living in their comfortable homes and Medtronic continues to be an invaluable partner in our Wildfire Cottages Project. Our recent completion of two affordable homes in Graton, California will allow two families to lead productive lives with a sustainable future in the community they work in. This would not have been possible without the support of our corporate partners: Thiessen Homes, Celebrate Community Partnership, US Bank, Wells Fargo Banks, Relief Wines, Walter Hansel Winery, Poppy Bank, PG&E, Summit Electric, The Roth Armstrong Hayes Foundation, The Heck Foundation, Biagi Brother, Rabobank, and
Salesforce. We are so thankful for all that you have done!

We have also witnessed our community’s support at our ReStore where, despite a 3-month closure caused by the pandemic, we have seen an upswing in business and donations. We are confident that a positive experience in our store will enable us to retain their business and make them return shoppers and donors.

We are also thrilled to announce that we have relaunched our Aging in Place program. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to age with dignity in their own home and community, regardless of age, income, or ability level. Generous contributions from the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund and Spring Lake Village were indispensable in completing our first critical home repair projects. “You don’t know how much you are helping,” a retired veteran repeatedly said when our three Habitat employees sealed the holes in his floor, thus preventing rodents from continuing to enter his home. For the following project, Habitat’s enthusiastic volunteers completed a previously unstable deck for a gentleman that had suffered a traumatic brain injury. In both instances, our team rigorously followed County safety guidelines to ensure both the volunteers and homeowners’ safety.

Through Aging in Place, Habitat hopes to continue offering senior citizens the choice of where they grow older. We trust that this movement will not only enable people to age safely in their homes but that it will also empower them, enhance their quality of life, and bring pride and dignity back to homeowners and communities. And much like these low-income homeowners we have served and will continue to serve; we are here to stay.

We look forward to #GivingTuesday, on December 1st, and its illustration of the impact we can have when we all pull together.

* Pictures from top to bottom and left to right:
Five homes from our 2017 Wildfires Cottages Project, our second Aging in Place homeowner standing proudly on his completed deck, our first Aging in Place homeowner, our two completed Habitat homes in Graton, one of the holes that was sealed by Habitat employees, sealed hole, unsafe deck, and completed deck.