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Building Homes and the American Dream for Veterans

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A Kaiser Permanente team of 20 hard-working volunteers, including leaders and staff from the Panorama City Medical Center and Santa Clarita Medical Offices, recently rolled up their sleeves to toil alongside the Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley chapters (SF/SCV) to team build 78 homes for low-income veterans and their families.

The new community, based on the Enriched Neighborhood® model, is being built specifically for veterans in Santa Clarita, Calif. It will include three and four-bedroom homes, an urban garden, and a sensory integration playground, (a play space specifically designed to calm and nurture children with sensory integration disorders.) In addition, Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV and its community partners will deliver an array of social services to ensure veterans achieve self-sufficiency and can successfully integrate back into civilian life. These services include post-traumatic stress counseling, art workshops for trauma victims, and financial literacy training.

Veterans’ families participating in this program must do 500 hours of sweat equity, (future home owners and their families take part in the construction of their homes and others in the new community), and participate in workshops and programming designed to help them become self-sufficient and move up into the middle class.

“We are thrilled to partner with Habitat for Humanity. We have a commitment to build thriving communities by reaching beyond the walls of our Kaiser Permanente facilities,” said Dennis C. Benton, Kaiser Permanente Panorama City CEO and executive director. “We know that people prosper in vibrant, living environments. Volunteerism and community service are critical components to building healthy and sustainable communities in all the areas we serve,” he said.

Donna Deutchman, CEO, Habitat for Humanity (SF/SCV) noted, “We are committed to providing our nation’s heroes and their families with a gateway to the American Dream of homeownership. We are thrilled that Kaiser Permanente has joined our efforts to build safe and affordable permanent housing for veterans who might otherwise be homeless in North Los Angeles County.”

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity or to volunteer, visit: www.habitat.org

Pictured: Kaiser Permanente volunteers get ready to pitch in and help build homes for veterans with Habitat for Humanity