Desiderio Project Beneath Colorado Street Bridge Nears Completion

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By BRANDON VILLALOVOS

7:58 pm | May 10, 2018


Over two dozen women from Pasadena and throughout the San Gabriel Valley kicked off the first of three days of the Habitat for Humanity Women Build Program Thursday to lend a hand in the final phase of construction for nine new affordable homes near the Colorado Street Bridge.

The women and their team of workers set out this year to landscape and put the finishing touches on the Habitat for Humanity Desiderio Project alongside the future homeowners who are set to move in on June 9 into their new Pasadena abodes.

The homes are a collaborative project involving the City of Pasadena, the United States Army, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.

“We’re working on our last phase of construction and it is intensive landscaping and there is nothing easy about this,” said Frances Hardy, Director of Resource Development for San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s a lot of digging, hauling, but at the end of all of this hard work we are going to have a beautifully landscaped development.”

The collaborative effort is a part of National Women Build Week when 18,000 women across the country come together to build homes in partnership with hardworking families who are in need of a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.

In the case of the Desiderio Project, selected families purchased their houses through no-profit, no-interest loans and each family invested 500 hours of sweat equity. Three of the nine affordable bungalow courtyard homes were reserved for veterans.

Bethany McKim is one of the homeowners at the Women Build day and is excited to see the progress that has been made to construct her home .

“It definitely is a lot of work, but we don’t give enough credit to women and it’s a huge blessing,” said McKim, a married mother of 4-year-old twin daughters.

“I’m super excited to live near the Rose Bowl because we are walking distance,” she adds.

McKim says the new development is designed to create a sense of community and she plans on mingling with her neighbors and the other 21 kids that will live there.

“When I was growing up I was able to play outside until the street lights came on and I feel like we are going to be able to have that again with our children. We feel safe and we know that we are all going to look out for each other,” McKim said.

As for her daughters, McKim says they have big plans for their new Pasadena home.

“They want their room painted rainbows and unicorns,” said McKim.

Over the next two years, the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity is committed to doubling the number of families the organization has served from 94 families (comprised of 428 low-income individuals) to 200 families (about 800 low-income people).

Registration for Women Build 2018 is now closed, since the maximum number of volunteers needed have already signed up.

For more information, to donate or to volunteer in the future, visit sgvHabitat.org.