Local Habitat for Humanity affiliate merges with Homes 4 Families, takes on name

People work on laying sidewalk and building fences during the 8th Annual Women's Empowerment Build at the veteran neighborhood being built by Habitat for Humanity in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

With a laser focus on helping veterans, Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/ Santa Clarita Valleys has merged with its sister organization Homes 4 Families, the organization announced Wednesday.

The Habitat for Humanity name will no longer be used for the organization in both the valleys and will exclusively work to help low-income veterans.

By breaking away from the Habitat affiliation, Homes 4 Families can expand to any location they want, according to Board Chairman Hunt Braly.

“We came to the conclusion that if we want to continue doing these types of services across California, we can’t be a Habitat affiliate because were constrained by geographic boundaries,” Braly said.

This redirected focus to solely serve veterans began five years ago for Homes 4 Families’ board of directors and staff. Since then, the organization has partnered with the California Department of Veterans Affairs to build homes for veterans, servicemen and servicewomen and their families.

“We’ve created something unique in these last five years and that’s what we’re committed to do,” Braly said.

Both organizations were under the same governance to begin with, so staff members will remain the same.

Homes 4 Families’ goal is to help low-income veterans and their families join the middle class by enabling them to become homeowners.

The “enriched neighborhood model” began under Homes 4 Families, which provides both permanent housing and comprehensive services, including financial education, therapeutic workshops, trauma programs and veteran support.

Particularly in the Santa Clarita Valley, the organization is currently finishing the last 24 homes in a 78-home project.

Homes 4 Families has built 144 homes in Northern Los Angeles County, including Santa Clarita, Burbank, Pacoima and Sylmar.

Currently, Homes 4 Families is building 80 homes in Santa Clarita, Palmdale and North Hollywood and are looking to expand their services to other regions.

Homes 4 Families started in 2008 in partnership with SFV/SCV Habitat for Humanity, which started in 1990.

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