Female stars from sitcoms and soap operas will join women from across North Los Angeles on May 14 and 15 to help build homes for low-income working families as part of Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys’ 2nd annual Women Empowerment Build (WE Build).
T’Keyah Crystal Keymah, known for her roles on “In Living Color,” “Cosby” and “That’s So Raven” is this year’s event chair. Other personalities scheduled to take part in the effort are Arianne Zucker, Camila Banus, Kate Mansi, Louise Sorel, Peggy McCay and Tamara Braun of “Days of Our Lives” and Adrienne Frantz, Ashley Jones, Heather Tom, Hunter Tylo, Jennifer Gareis and Kimberly Matula of “The Bold & the Beautiful.”
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Sponsored by Home Depot Foundation, National Construction Rentals and other regional businesses, the women will don pink hard hats and tool belts to pound nails, paint boards and help in the construction of ten new homes at the project site located at 12600 Carl Street in Pacoima.
Besides helping in the construction, the group there will also create a new neighborhood playground and there will be presentations from keynote speakers encouraging women to participate in the affordable housing home ownership movement.
“Many of our families have women as heads of household,” said Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys CEO Donna Deutchman. “We wanted to do more than just have a day where women build. We wanted to help our mothers and their daughters realize they too can be active agents of change to make a better community for themselves and their neighbors. The women coming to this event are at the top of their professions and want to encourage others by their example, and by sharing their success.”
The San Fernando Habitat for Humanity affiliate has been piloting a new “Enriched Neighborhood Model” at its Pacoima site bringing social and educational services in addition to homeowner programs such as repair and money management. A recent survey conducted with families from the first phase of the project shows this model is quite successful. While only 43 percent Pacoima area high school students graduate, in Habitat’s planned community the children have a 100 percent high school graduation rate with 92 percent attending or having graduated from college or a trade school, and with over 50 percent graduating from a 4-year university. Many adults have also gone on to college and, within 3 1/2 years of moving in, Pacoima Phase 1 families have reported an average 14 percent increase in income.
The WE Build event is open to participants aged 16 and over from across the region. Registration is $40 ($25 for students) and participants are asking their friends and family to sponsor them with additional donations. All the money raised will be used to build the remaining homes at the site. For information, call (818) 884-8808 or visit www.HumanityCA.org .