On March 1, 2008, we began our work as an affiliate of Habitat International. For the two previous years, committed volunteers, led by Pastor Theiss and other members of Mariposa Lutheran Church, researched the need for affordable housing here and wrote a very comprehensive application to HFHI.
In 2009 we received our first land donation from Howard and Joy Dudley of Garden Grove, CA. They donated land on Sebastopol Road for our first and third homes. Our 2nd home was built in town on Mueller Ct. Rd. near the hospital. The first three homes were built between 2011 and 2015 and housed a total of six children.
In 2012 we began a second program for homeowners. A Brush With Kindness involves painting, minor repairs and weatherization. Teams of volunteers were recruited to work on the homes of the elderly, disabled and other low-income homeowners to help them stay in their homes.
Fundraising of all kinds occurred through the years for building homes and community support. The Tour de Habitat, a stationary bike “race,” along with an actual road ride, raised over $56,000 between 2011 and 2015. Around 100 community members participated yearly in this event. This was followed by a Birdhouse and Garden Art Auction which included works by many local artisans. It also raised a healthy sum for Habitat starting in 2016 at Savoury’s and continuing from 2017 to 2019 at the Lancasters’ Cidery in Lushmeadows.
In 2016, HFH of MC hired its first paid executive director, Roger Powell, following four years of leadership by Beth Tomsick, as the volunteer executive director. Other leaders were our presidents: Delores Hahn, Bob Pickard, Al Johnson, Barry Brouillette, Bob Kirchner, Jim Evans, and Melinda Abeles. Roger Powell has also supervised our building projects in recent years and is known for his dedication and hard work on our homes.
Homes continue to be built with families in need of affordable housing. In 2017, land was acquired on Stroming Road from the Catholic Diocese of Fresno. Our fourth Habitat home was dedicated in November 2018. A fifth home will be completed in 2021, and we are in the process of selecting a sixth family. The walls of the fifth home were put together on a community build day in November 2019 when around 90 volunteers came together on a vacant lot in Mariposa.
Since then, we have been hampered by the global pandemic of COVID-19 which does not allow us to bring large groups of volunteers together. The same holds true for our fundraising events; however, in the spring of 2020 our community members gave generously to a virtual event where they could purchase items for our fifth home.
We are grateful to all who have participated in our work over the past thirteen years, as an affiliate of HFHI. We continue to work according to our Mission Vision — “A world where everyone has a decent place to live”–and our Mission Statement — “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”