It’s true; it does take a village to raise a child. But, it also takes more than 12,000 volunteers a year to build homes across the Valley of the Sun.
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona President and CEO Jason Barlow made that notation during a wall-signing ceremony for a home that will soon be occupied by Maria Sanchez and her son, Sebastian Ortega.
Representatives from APS, Glendale HOME Funds, Total Transit, and Habitat volunteers, as well as Mayor Jerry Weiers and Glendale Police Lt. Ernie Ochoa, were on hand to sign their best wishes. Also attending were Councilmembers Jamie Aldama and Joyce Clark.
APA and Glendale HOME Funds will be providing 20 to 25 volunteers every other weekend until the project is complete.
Maria Ramirez is a mother of four sons, self-employed house cleaner and is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. Currently, she lives with her teenage son, Sebastian, who is a student on scholarship at St. Mary’s, and enjoys his studies, boxing and wants to be a firefighter. Maria Ramirez is looking to rebuild her life and provide a safe and stable home for Sebastian and knows that a Habitat home will do just that.
Before he began the ceremony that takes place at every Habitat home wall-signing, Barlow explained why the wall studs were not in place.
The main slab of the home was two inches too thin. Instead of seven inches thick, it was just five inches thick. Instead of turning the other way, Barlow said the contractor planned to tear up the floor and repour it this week. That means a two-week delay.
But that did not stop the wallsigning. Everyone was provided a felt pen, and they kneeled on the ground and the slab to write their blessing messages.
Before that happened, however, Barlow introduced Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, who has attended Habitat ceremonies the past five years.
Weiers told Ramirez and her son they would be moving into a new home, something he and his wife have never experienced.
He also said, “But, it’s the family within that makes a home. The partnership with Habitat is an opportunity to make our community better. By building a new home for you, your neighbors will start picking it up.”
APS Director of Technology Innovation Scott Bordenkircher said, “APS spends a lot of time giving back to the community we serve. This is one of the best things on the planet.”