Foundation to Thrive
Velarde – September 2016
Jesus and Maria Velarde became first-time homeowners after applying with and being selected by Habitat For Humanity Golden Empire. The Velarde family—in partnership with Habitat Golden Empire, sponsors, and community volunteers, remodeled and bought a Bakersfield home. Jesus and Maria have four children and were enduring very poor living conditions in a local mobile home park. They demonstrated a need for safe, decent and affordable housing. They demonstrated an ability to pay an affordable mortgage and they were willing to partner in building their own home; putting in 500+ hours of ‘sweat equity’. “It is families like the Velarde family that remind us all to keep working hard and continue moving forward for the next generation,” said Cesar Menjivar, Community Outreach Director.
“One of the most exciting parts of the work we do is to be able to celebrate with a family with whom we’ve just completed a project helping them build and purchase their own home,” said Tony Miranda, Executive Director for Habitat For Humanity Golden Empire.
A Veteran in Need
Provencio – June 2016
Rocque and his wife Pauline Provencio are current Kern County homeowners who have lived in Kern County for over 50 years. They sought Habitat For Humanity Golden Empire in hopes of participating in one of the various Home Preservation Projects, and the couple was selected for the installation of a new water heater—which they could not afford on their own. Provencio, a Sailor in the United States Navy, may have been able to endure the cooking, cleaning, bathing, and space heating challenges of having an old run-down water heater that did not produce hot water, but no family should have to endure such conditions. Habitat Golden Empire was pleased to help the Provencio family who has helped so many with their service.
Help in the Cancer Battle
Ms. Foster – December 2015
Joan Foster has called Bakersfield her home for more than 40 years. One of her most enjoyable hobbies has been tending to her beautiful garden. Unfortunately, a battle with a rare lung cancer called Mesothelioma and the chemotherapy that she is undergoing have prevented her from being able to preserve the place she calls home. She sought the help of Habitat Golden Empire and was met with a response of love and lumber. Thanks to a partnership with Wells Fargo Bank, Habitat Golden Empire and the community came together to replace a door, change sink handles, install protected electrical outlets and carbon monoxide alarms. Ms. Foster now lives in a safer more comfortable home as she continues her journey to health.
Faith and Bright Futures
Salazar – October 2015
Pedro and Danila Salazar have moved a lot. Pedro, Sr. says, “God was always with us, and always led us to where He wanted us to go. Moving to Bakersfield in itself was a blessing. Finding a church took us a few tries, but when we finally found Christ the King Catholic Church, it became very clear that it was where God wanted us. There are five kids in our family – Suzie, 21, Mariana, 19, Pedro Jr., 16, Esteban, 13, and Catalina, age 7. Our family enjoys being active and involved in our parish and we also enjoy family time together. We like being outdoors, whether it’s planting new things in the garden, playing soccer, or enjoying some time with our dog. We are very simple family, and live a simple life. Granted we have had our struggles, but God always holds us together, and that’s all that matters. God is the center of our home, and that is what brings joy into our family.”