MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
San Diego’s Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit ecumenical organization that focuses on eliminating poverty housing and homelessness, came together with volunteers from local neighborhoods and churches to help bless the new homes that were dedicated to seven families in the Escondido, Calif., area Sunday.
After several people shared their thoughts, the volunteers and new residents were lead in song by Joe Carton, project superintendent, San Diego Habitat for Humanity, immediately followed by a buffet-style luncheon provided for everyone in attendance.
For more than a year, depot Marines and sailors worked alongside civilians to help build seven units for families with low-income.
Each unit contains three bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms and designated, covered parking. Along with the amenities, the units will be sold way below market value, said Ken Kosman, lead superintendent, San Diego Habitat for Humanity.
Although the housing will be sold cheap, the families also have to help build. The units were appraised at right around $350,000 and sold for $172,000.
For each adult in the household, Kosman, a native of Philadelphia, said 250 hours of volunteer work is required as a down payment.
Fabien Guillen, a 16-year-old San Diego native, worked everyday in the summer to help with the down payment of 500 hours, coming from a two-parent family. He said it was all worth it once the project was finally completed.
“This place is so much bigger than our last one,” said Guillen. “I have my own room now, before I always felt so crowded. This feels good.”
Kosman said the most common initial reaction upon move-in was disbelief that they were moving into their own home.
“These were all families coming from rentals, and have been renting their whole life,” said Kosman. “This is the first real home ownership.”
Six of the seven families were moved in on Halloween and the seventh came Nov. 28.
Kosman said the next project is an 11-unit condo in Carlsbad, Calif., which is currently undergoing construction, followed be a 20-single family home project that is scheduled to begin January in Oceanside, Calif.
“I am looking forward to having the Marines come out and join us out there,” said Kosman. “They