Habitat for Humanity, Home for Families and ReStore recently helped a Santa Clarita veteran and his family have a home for the holidays.
Young Marine Veteran Fernando, and his wife Tatiana, planned a wonderful future. He served his country proudly, both in Afghanistan and Iraq with a remarkable spirit, and when he returned home, he wanted more than ever to start his family and provide for them with pride.
Then one night, the call came that Tatiana dreaded. Fernando was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, leaving him a Quadriplegic. Never did they believe that this would happen to them, especially on the home-front. No matter how serious the injury, Fernando had a spirit that could not be dampened. His love of Country, his determination and his love for his wife would grant him the resolution to fight hard for their future. He was not giving up, he had a dream!
Things were difficult for this family moving forward, but they never surrendered. They devoted their time to healing and reaching their wished-for plans. They wanted to start a family, and own a home that would allow their family to grow, while being surrounded by a community that understands.
Fernando and Tatiana learned about a program called ‘Homes for Families’. The community is built by Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV, under the direction of the Homes for Families program, which designs custom, enriched neighborhoods. In addition, they provide Veterans with much needed services and training, essential to each Veteran and their families. So they applied for the program and were accepted. They knew that in order to make this dream come true – they would have to put in time and labor to help build their new home. Fernando had no doubt he would find a way to meet the sweat equity requirements of the program.
Once his new house design was settled, they realized a normal ADA bathroom would not meet his requirements. Fernando inhabits an oversized chair, due to his tall stature, so his new ADA bathroom needed to be customized for his needs. Everyone at ‘Homes for Families’ came together to design a special wet room, making the entire bathroom a shower in order to accommodate this chair. The Habitat ReStore SF/SCV leapt into action, contacting companies who would donate the essential tile for the custom design.
Then the ReStore helped raise the needed funding for the new construction, by holding a raffle for a Kitchenaid BBQ station, raising close to $3,000. As for Fernando, he completed all of his sweat equity hours at the ReStore. He greeted and directed customers to their desired locations and the customers fell in love with him. Though his hours were sometimes long, he always had a smile on his face and encouraged us all to reach for your dreams.
This holiday season, we welcome Marine Veteran Fernando, his wife Tatiana and their new baby, home for the holidays.
For more information on ‘Homes For Families’ and how to get involved, visit http://homes4families.org
For more information on Habitat For Humanity SF/SCV visit: http://www.humanityca.org
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