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May 25
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
Mustang Drive-In


Framing and roofing is almost complete on phase one of a Habitat for Humanity project in Santa Clarita which is good news for the Washington family.

The family of six is one of 78 military families that will soon live in the Veteran Enriched Neighborhood on Centre Point Parkway.

“Phase one, the first 26 homes, will be completed this summer hopefully in June,” said Kimberly Waller, Associate Director of Marketing and Development for Habitat for Humanity. “We have a timeline to complete phase two, which is 31 homes, six months after the completion of phase one. Then the remaining homes six months after that.”

(From Habitat for Humanity)

Hope Washington was excited and eager to dedicate her life in service to our country. She began her military career as a JROTC student during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and started basic training for the U.S. Army in 2004.  “My first duty station was at Fort Carson, Colorado which is where I met my first husband,” she shares.  “Things were wonderful at first, and then I found out I was pregnant right before I was supposed to deploy.  I ended up separating from the Army in 2005 and took on the role of a military spouse.”

Unfortunately Hope’s marriage took a turn for the worse due to her husband’s infidelity and financial abuse, issues that are far too common among military and veteran families.  Hope filed for divorce and started to get her life and finances back on track as a single mother.  That’s when she met her current husband, Korey, who was also active duty in the U.S. Army.

Shortly after Korey and Hope got married, he deployed to Iraq and their lives were forever changed.  As a result of injuries he sustained in combat, Korey was forced to medically separate from the military after four years of service.  He now suffers from severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.  He also experiences frequent seizures, tremors, and has problems with his knees and shoulders.

Upon Korey’s medical discharge from the Army, the family’s finances suffered and they ended up with no place to live.  With no family or friends to lend their support, the Washingtons were forced to use every dollar they had to pay for and live out of a local hotel room with their family, which at that point had expanded to include four children. Hope tried to file a claim with the Veterans Administration so they could get the financial and medical benefits necessary to support the family and Korey’s condition.  Unfortunately, the VA would not award them any benefits because they did not have a permanent address.  But without their benefits, they couldn’t afford to rent or buy their own home.  “It was like a catch-22,” Hope says.  “I just couldn’t believe how much red tape there was with the VA.  It was truly heartbreaking and confusing that my husband couldn’t get the benefits he had rightfully earned.”

That’s when Habitat stepped in.

After hearing their story, the staff at Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV took immediate action to secure a temporary mobile home for the Washington family.  Now that they have a permanent address, they were able to apply for and receive benefits from the VA.  Korey was deemed 90% disabled and unemployable, while Hope was designated as his full-time caregiver at the highest financial tier since Korey cannot function alone.  Habitat is currently working with the Washington family so they can qualify to move in to our 78-home Veteran Enriched Neighborhood® that is under construction in Santa Clarita, CA.  Hope says that Korey and the kids look forward to baking together on the holidays and hosting get-togethers with friends in the neighborhood.

“Being able to buy our own home will put us on track to making a happy and full life for our children and family,” Hope said.  “My oldest son wants to be a chef when he grows up, so he can’t wait to help me prepare family meals in our very own home.  We’ve been through so many rough patches and sometimes didn’t know where our next meal would come from, but Korey and I have been taught by the military to persevere through the darkest storms.  Habitat for Humanity has truly been the light and the blessing in our darkness.”

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2 Comments

  1. Bob says:

    Please add information about habitat for humanity, “if you would like to help” call******

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SCV NONPROFIT LINKS

NONPROFIT HEADLINES
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
The Gibbon Conservation Center in Saugus has been challenged by two donors to increase membership by 100 new members by June 30 to earn an additional $6,500.
Monday, May 23, 2022
To honor the memory of longtime community leader Charlotte Kleeman, a celebration of life will be held Friday, June 3, at the College of the Canyons University Center, located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, beginning at 2 p.m.
Monday, May 23, 2022
Visit newly opened MB2 Entertainment at the site of the former Mountasia on June 5 to support Carousel Ranch. Purchase a play card and a percentage of your purchase will benefit Carousel Ranch. Visit and have fun while donating to a worthwhile cause, the clients of Carousel Ranch and the equestrian therapy and vocational training programs.
Monday, May 23, 2022
The city of Santa Clarita's Human Relations Roundtable speaker series “Community Voices” continued by celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month on Friday, May 20.
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Charlotte Kaup Kleeman, 1996 Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year, died Thursday, May 19, 2022 in Valencia. She was 85.

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