Santa Cruz — Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay today announced its community outreach campaign to promote International Women Build Week, a series of activities set for March 8-15 to increase awareness about women and the challenges they face in securing access to safe, affordable housing in the counties of Santa Cruz and Monterey. The events will highlight and celebrate women as volunteers, engage and recruit new volunteers, and focus on fundraising from private and corporate donors to finance home construction.
The February campaign profiles “Women Build” sponsors, previous volunteer teams, and women community leaders who will participate in Build Week. The outreach effort has adopted Covid-19-safe practices that leverage online participation in digital, social, and traditional media outreach activities to engage community members. A central focus will be to educate people about the power of community in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Salinas, among other cities.
“We have a bold agenda to build more new homes in Monterey Bay than in any previous year”, said Kathy Arola, Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay Board Vice Chair. “To achieve this goal we need to strengthen our core, recognize the valuable work of women across our organization, and encourage others in the community to support our cause in any way they can.”
Habitat Monterey Bay has 11 units planned for construction over the next three years in the Live Oak neighborhood in Santa Cruz, and expects to complete four homes for families in 2021. In Watsonville, Salinas and other cities, the organization is securing build sites and permits for 11 homes and three accessory dwelling units (ADUs) over the next five years, with construction on two of them due to be completed for families this year.
The fundraising goal for this year’s Women’s Build campaign is $10,000, which supports the construction of a home for Santa Cruz resident and mother, Kali Campbell in Rodeo Creek Court. Ms. Campbell joined Habitat eight months ago when she applied for, and met the requirements to be considered as a candidate for the lottery system that guides the selection process. Sponsorship levels for the March fundraising campaign start at $250, which can be made online at https://www.
“Owning a home was unattainable before I connected with Habitat Monterey Bay,” said Kali Campbell, who is scheduled to move into her new home in four months. “This month I started my required volunteer hours, and I have never been more excited to support our mission. I am working to secure a home for my family, and I am investing my time to strengthen Habitat.”
For the 15th consecutive year, Habitat for Humanity International is partnering with Lowe’s, which has awarded more than 300 grants to Habitat for Humanity organizations in the United States, Canada and India, including $5,000 to the Monterey Bay organization. The Women Build theme was conceptualized by Habitat for Humanity International to recognize that the strength, resilience, and perseverance of women is at the foundation of the 45-year old organization. Women work across all areas of the worldwide organization.
“Habitat operates in a highly matrixed political, economic, and social environment, which means we are always working to align the stakeholders who can help us build homes for people,” said Debbie Arakel, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity California, the state support organization for 41 Habitat for Humanity Affiliates in California. “We are excited to bring together these policy advocates, corporate leaders, and local community members in March who represent the promise and possibilities of our success.”
Habitat’s February outreach sets the stage for community members and leaders to participate in three main activities during Build Week: an online one-hour conversation with women leaders and others involved in Habitat’s work on March 12th, an opportunity to virtually volunteer, which includes an interactive “scavenger hunt” to educate people about how Habitat works and the diverse roles of women in the organization, and a fundraising campaign to support home building.
Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay has built 55 homes for families over the past 30 years in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Over that time, more than 5,000 volunteers have logged more than 75,000 hours in construction, at ReStore, and by providing administrative assistance.
About Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay
Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay is an independent locally operated and funded affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Our mission is to build decent, affordable homes and provide home ownership opportunities to qualified families who live and work in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. For more information, please visit www.habitatmontereybay.org.