Habitat for Humanity of the Coachella Valley is extremely grateful for our strong relationship with First Foundation Bank. Through our work together, we have been able to provide affordable housing opportunities to struggling families as well as assist many low-income senior citizens that are in dire need of home repairs.
For many years now, First Foundation Bank has provided Habitat for Humanity CV with not only financial support, but their staff has personally given of their time and talents to support our vision that “Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live.”
Their efforts have gone beyond anything we could have expected. We are thrilled to have Valerie Van Winkle from First Foundation Bank as a Board member for the last 13 years. In addition to Valerie’s commitment, we have been honored to receive continuing assistance from Marty Dutch, Director of Philanthropy Services, in facilitating leadership retreats and Strategic Planning meetings for our board, as well as Hugo Nuno, Chief Risk Officer, and his team providing pro bono audit services, as well as First Foundation Bank generously providing Habitat CV mortgage loan servicing at no charge.
What is exciting about the collaborative efforts between First Foundation Bank and Habitat of Humanity of the Coachella Valley is the ability to impact and uplift the lives of so many, including a local woman named Arlene.
Arlene had a mobile home that was damaged in a fire, and her entry stairs and porch were burnt and no longer functional. A family member contacted Habitat, as Arlene is extremely low income and had no fire insurance to help with the repairs. Habitat volunteers were able to rebuild the porch and stairs to allow for front access into her home. But just a month later, Arlene’s thirty-year-old central air conditioning unit stopped working and could not be repaired, just as summer was approaching in our desert community. Due to the ongoing relationship with First Foundation Bank, we had the funds to purchase a new air conditioning unit for Arlene along with a new bedroom ceiling fan.
Our partnership with First Foundation Bank also allowed us to assist Beatrice, who is an 88 year old woman whose yard was overgrown and house had not been painted in many years. Two groups of community volunteers assisted in the exterior restoration of Beatrice’s home. It was not until the volunteers were painting the upper portions of the house when they noticed severe roof damage. Thanks to our strong relationship with First Foundation, Habitat was able to obtain the funding to install a new roof for Beatrice. And what did Beatrice say when she saw her new roof? “Oh my, let it rain, let it rain!” She no longer fears cloudy weather.
There is also Oscar, who is a frail elderly man that battles diabetes, is partially blind and his wife is bedridden. Habitat was called by their doctor’s office stating that the couple reported several broken windows around the house. When a Habitat CV staff member spoke with the couple, we became aware of several other home and safety issues that were of concern. The yard foliage was so overgrown it had become a blight in the neighborhood.
Once again Habitat volunteers were mobilized and tremendous progress was made. The yard was restored, three large broken windows were replaced, a new window air conditioner was installed and interior mini blinds were provided for privacy.
With First Foundation’s ongoing support, we have been able to replace old and broken kitchen appliances with newer and safer ones, upgrade electrical systems that have become brittle and overtaxed, provide plumbing and sewer repairs to help keep water flowing and toilets flushed and neighborhood restoration in the form of house painting, fencing repair and yard cleanup so neighborhoods can remain clean, desirable, and safe.
With a partner like First Foundation Bank, Habitat CV has been able to not only construct affordable homes for deserving, low-income families, but assist our disabled and senior citizen community members to age in place while remaining safely in their own homes. We look forward to many more years to partner with First Foundation Bank. This relationship helps Habitat for Humanity fulfill its mission of building homes, communities, and hope!
To read more about the partnership, please click here.