Kalamazoo Valley Habitat For Humanity celebrated 30 years of service in the Kalamazoo community at an event on Nov. 1 at Western Michigan University.
Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity founders, board members, volunteers, Habitat families and community members were invited to Western Michigan’s Fetzer Center.
Habitat homeowners, Edwin and Paula Rodas, felt privileged to not only be a part of the anniversary celebration, but also members of the Habitat community.
“We are really honored to be here for this event,” said Paula Rodas. “We didn’t have enough money to afford a house when we moved here so when I heard about the program I told my husband it would be nice if we applied for this program because it sounds pretty nice and we could afford it.”
According to Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Don Jones, the program has done its part to give back to the community by generating more than $360,000 in property taxes from Habitat families and the creation of homes for 191 families in Kalamazoo County.
Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity’s contributions to the community for the past 30 years were honored with a proclamation read by Commissioner David Anderson at the Oct. 7 Kalamazoo City Commission meeting.
“By offering the opportunity to build and buy an affordable home Habitat for Humanity has engaged the Kalamazoo community in a partnership through the contribution of financial resources, volunteer service, and compassionate support to help 191 families, including 144 families in the city of Kalamazoo make their dreams of home ownership a reality,” said Anderson.
The partnership between the city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity would not be possible without volunteers like the Morrisseys. The Morriseys have volunteered with Habitat every week for the past six years and have worked on more than 40 houses. They take pleasure in continuously volunteering with Habitat because of the opportunities the program provides not only for the community but also families.
“Habitat gives people who wouldn’t normally be able to own a home the chance to do so, and gives little kids a back yard,” said Morrissey. “It also brings neighborhoods and communities together because as we are there volunteering they can see how a house should be built and see how their community can improve.”