Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on 173rd home

Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on 173rd home

YAKIMA, Wash. - Lorena Lopez-Torres and her family were honored on Wednesday, by Habitat for Humanity, with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of their future home. Shovels and all, the family of five took the first scoops of dirt to commemorate the special event.

“I feel very happy - super excited and proud to finally have my own house, because we always used to pay the rent, and now we know that it’s going to be our own home,” said Lopez-Torres.

Executive Director Isabel Garcia said that there are many families like the Lopez-Torres’ in Yakima.

“There’s so much need in the Yakima Valley, and one of the reasons is our housing stock is really old and our families are living overcrowded. There’s a high percentage of families in the Yakima Valley paying over 30-percent of their income in housing expenses,” said Garcia.

The process typically takes anywhere from one to three years, but it’s well worth the wait according to Lorena’s daughter, Vernici.

“I feel very happy and excited. We waited a long time to get this house,” she said.

Garcia said she is happy for the Lopez-Torres family, but still wishes there was more that could be done for others.

“The demand is so great. We work with over two hundred families on our waitlist every year, and we’re only building five to six homes a year, so we know the need is there,” Garcia said.

Board Director Jack Topper would like for others to get involved, so that they can break ground on more homes per year. He said that volunteering has many benefits.

“I find volunteering makes you feel good. You’re doing things for other people, but it actually is good for you, because you’ll get wonderful feelings. They say that people who volunteer will have less heart disease, and there are a lot of benefits health-wise, and it makes you happier just doing it,” said Topper.

To lend a helping hand, you can visit Habitat for Humanity to sign up.

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