We (i.e., Homes for Families, i.e., Habitat For Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys, i.e., where I work as Director of Finance) have a new housing project that’s getting ready to start. We build affordable homes for low-income veterans – this will be a tract of 56 homes in Palmdale, California.
Palmdale is in the Antelope Valley, in the far northern part of Los Angeles County, about 35 miles north of the San Fernando Valley and 55 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles (as the freeways wind through the passes). It’s considered “low desert,” only about 2,300 feet above sea level, but definitely desert.
July + desert = HOT
It wasn’t that bad – with the breeze it only felt like 99°!
Space in the shade under the tent was at a premium as we set up.
Yes, right now it’s 9+ acres of dirt, weeds, some dumped trash, and no doubt a few reptiles who would prefer we weren’t there. But rest assured, I’ll be posting pictures as we go – in a couple of years there will be fifty-six veteran families with new homes here.
Fancy gold shovels for the ceremonial events.
But first we got speeches. Politicians from the local, county, state, and federal levels were all here, as well as local sponsors, representatives from various local veteran organizations and groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, members of the free press, and families from our existing projects in Santa Clarita. We even had a couple of the local beauty pageant queens present.
Hunt Braley, our Board Chariman, was speaking here. To the left behind him is Representative Steve Knight, along with Theresa Gunn (CalVet Deputy Secretary), and Jim Ledford (Palmdale mayor).
Everyone did their best to stick to the schedule and keep their speeches short. (If you’re wearing a suit in 102°, you’ll keep it short too, even if it only feels like 99° with the breeze.) Then it was time for the ceremonial groundbreaking, some cool drinks, snacks, and a mad dash for air conditioning.
The turnout was great, the speeches short but sincere, the event a wonderful success.
Now to start building homes!