Habitat for Humanity’s San Fernando-Santa Clarita Valley branch is hosting a Women’s Empowerment Build Saturday, May 9.
Their mission is to provide decent, safe and affordable places to live for those in need within the valley.
Habitat is asking volunteers to support their cause by helping build homes for veterans and low income working families.
These neighborhoods are the beginning of a new future for the over 3 million people globally who have resided in the homes made by Habitat for Humanity International.
The Washington Family:
The Washington Family
Hope Washington, mother of four, began her military career as a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps student during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and began basic training for the U.S. Army in 2004.
She reported to Colorado where she met her first husband and discovered she was pregnant shortly before deployment.
Hope made the decision to separate from the Army and take on life as a mother.
Her marriage soon made a turn for the worse after her husband’s infidelity and financial abuse.
Hope filed for divorce and eventually met her current husband Korey, an active U.S. soldier.
After they married, Korey was deployed to Iraq where he sustained injuries in combat that have left him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.
The families finances suffered after Korey’s medical discharge, leaving the family with no place to live.
The Washington’s were forced to use the remainder of their finances to live in a local hotel room where they couldn’t receive Veteran’s Administration aid due to lack of a permanent address.
After hearing their story, Habitat for Humanity stepped in and secured a temporary mobile home for the family.
With their new address, they were able to receive benefits from the VA after Korey was deemed 90 percent disabled and unemployable.
Habitat is now working with the Washington family so they can qualify to move into Santa Clarita’s Enriched Neighborhood.
The McGowan Family:
Captain Leah McGowan is also working alongside Habitat for Humanity to become a first-time homeowner.
McGowan is the daughter of an Air Force veteran and was encouraged to join the military at a young age.
At 19-years-old she enlisted in the United States Army as a private and has built a career spanning 14 years.
McGowan has worked as a mental health specialist and has been commissioned as a medical service officer. She joined the National Guard and now works with homeless veterans for the V.A.
McGowan has accomplished all of this with her 19-year-old son by her side.
The Roselund Family:
Christine Roselund is a wife and mother of three who joined the Navy at 24 to help pay for her college education.
During her time in the Navy she had two children with her then husband before being stationed in Japan.
Her husband was an abusive alcoholic and once the abuse turned physical he was sent back to the U.S.
Christine Roselund and Family
Christine was alone in a foreign country with two children, but she did her best to make sure they had a normal life.
Two year laters, she separated from the Navy and moved back to the U.S. to devote more time to being a mother.
Since moving back she has remarried, had another son, completed her Masters Degree in Paralegal Studies and she looks forward to moving into the Enriched Neighborhood with her family.
The Peckinpaugh Family:
Alex Peckinpaugh is a husband and father to three children who joined the United States Marine Corps immediately after graduating from high school.
He has served eight years with two tours in Iraq. In 2010 he separated with the military in 2010 and struggled to find work in a volatile job market.
The Peckinpaugh Family
After applying with LAPD and was rejected due to a hiring freeze, Peckinpaugh, his wife Laura and newborn son Logan were forced to move into his mothers house.
Fast forward, the couple now lives in a rental and Peckinpaugh works in a mangement position at AT&T. The couple now has two more children.
About the Event:
The California Department of Veterans Affairs is collaborating with Habitat for Humanity SF – SCV to make the building of the Enriched Neighborhood possible.
The pre-wrapping of house exteriors is currently underway on the soon to be veteran homes and insulation is also beginning installed.
To participate in the Women’s Empowerment Build and construction of these homes, volunteers must register online and be at least 16-years-old.
For $40, volunteers will receive a T-shirt, pink hard hat, breakfast and lunch the day of the event where they will be assisting in the assembly of Santa Clarita’s Enriched Neighborhood.
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the build site located at 21534 Centre Pointe Pkwy.
To register or for more information about the Women’s Empowerment Build click here.