Sweat equity and the kindness—and hard work—or strangers paid off for a family of four, who are joining with Delta Air Lines and Habitat for Humanity for Greater Los Angeles to build a new house for their family. The single-family residence, which is going up in the West Athens area of Los Angeles County, is the 217th Habitat home Delta employees have built worldwide and the fifth in the Los Angeles area.
The build began on Sept. 15, on one of the few rainy days Los Angeles has seen in 2015. The three-bedroom house is scheduled to be finished on Oct. 24. Some 500 Delta employees will volunteer their time over six weeks on the project. Worldwide, more than 2,300 Delta volunteers will assist in building houses in 2015 alone. Last Thursday, the day these photos were taken, most of the volunteers were Delta pilots.
The Leal family will also put in time working on the house, which is referred to as “sweat equity” by Habitat for Humanity. Low-income people dedicate time and muscle to building affordable homes for others and themselves and attending homebuyer education workshops, earning equity with their labor. Not only does this reduce the amount of paid labor needed, the people develop pride in their homes and learn valuable skills that will help them maintain them.
Bedrooms of their own
The Leal family, in green T-shirts, currently live in a one-bedroom apartment. They will continue to work on the three-bedroom home that will be theirs. The two children were excited about being able to select their own bedrooms when the house is completed. Behind the lectern is Ranjan Goswami, Vice President-Global Sales, West Region, Delta Air Lines.
The Delta Air Lines/Habitat for Humanity partnership that has provided the opportunity for thousands of low-income people to purchase their own homes. Left to right are Sean Burton, President, Board of Commissioners, Los Angeles World Airports; Ranjan Goswami, Vice President-Global Sales, West Region, Delta Air Lines; a representative of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; Erin Rank, President and CEO, Habitat LA; Jennifer Wise, VP of Resource Development, Habitat LA; representative of Delta Air Lines.
Like an old-fashioned barn raising, Delta Air Lines volunteers lift the framing for a wall into place on the West Athens Habitat for Humanity site in LA County. The three-bedroom house will become home for the Leal family.