Habitat for Humanity celebrates 35 years in Arizona

Habitat for Humanity celebrated their 35th anniversary in Arizona with State Forty Eight on Saturday. (Photo by Kiana Cole/Downtown Devil)

Habitat for Humanity celebrated 35 years of building homes in Arizona with Arizona-based clothing company State Forty Eight on Saturday. To celebrate, the organizations are launching a collaborative T-shirt to raise funds for future neighborhood revitalization efforts in the Central City South community.

To kick off this anniversary, a team of State Forty Eight employees and 20 volunteers contributed their time to help Habitat finish up two of the organization’s first homes in the area. Onsite construction included caulking on the exterior, leveling the property and painting.

Following construction of the new homes, Habitat celebrated its anniversary with State Forty Eight at The Churchill, a food court at First and Garfield Streets. The organizations sold T-shirts and offered for the public to paint dedication stones for the newly finished homes. The event informed attendees on what Habitat and State Forty Eight offer, along with what their partnership entails.

“We’re celebrating our 35th anniversary, 35 years of building hope, building dreams, building families and community. It’s really important to us,” Habitat’s Director of Sponsor Relations Tina Burgoz said. “We build miracles all the time.”

Habitat constructs and rehabilitates homes to provide affordable housing to those in need. These houses are sold at no profit, and owners provide a down payment and ongoing interest-free payments. Habitat has built 80,000 homes, making them the largest not-for-profit homebuilder in the world.

Habitat and State Forty Eight have worked together for the past five years rebuilding homes and communities. Their first partnership was on the reconstruction of a house in Glendale, Arizona. The newest project south of downtown typically has 30 volunteers per day.

Co-founder of State Forty Eight Stephen Polando said that regarding the partnership’s current projects, this is only a small part of what State Forty Eight and Habitat are capable of.

“The effect you have on others is the most powerful currency there is,” he said. “We sell pride, so we have to put our money where our mouth is and get involved in the community.”

Volunteer Camille Perez, who has volunteered at Habitat events for the last seven years, discussed how Habitat transforms lives for families and children.

“Habitat has this mission to make sure everyone has a safe, affordable, decent place to live,” Perez said. She noted that projects like these allow children to stay in one stable environment, which makes a positive difference in the lives of the families who receive the homes.

“The volunteers make it worth it, it’s very much a family. The people that consistently come out and organizations that consistently support us, it’s just amazing to see,” she said.

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