by Martha Ross, Team Leader (November 2019)
For the past four years, First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica has been involved in Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles in building ten houses in the 4000 block of Globe Avenue in Culver City. First UMC is part of the Westside Church Coalition, a group of nine local Methodist churches, participating in building these 10 homes. First UMC’s volunteer team was the first of the teams to begin construction in July 2018, the foundations having been laid in early Spring and framing going up. Since that time, a continuous team of volunteers from the Westside Church Coalition have been busy hammering, sawing, and painting over the past year and a half, with two of the houses now complete. The dedication of those two houses and receipt of the keys by the families were held in August 2019.
Of the ten homes in the project, the particular home the Westside Coalition has sponsored is “Patience House.” Habitat for Humanity selects the family from applications submitted to it, and the selected family must meet certain income guidelines demonstrating the ability to pay a mortgage. Their down payment is in “sweat equity,” 200-500 hours of labor on the home. The selection process is done completely by Habitat’s staff and board, independent of any input from our Coalition. The family selected for Patience House is the Mulvihill family, from Westlight UMC, a Coalition member church. We have been blessed to get to know and work along side Kaoru Mulvihill and her four sons (Ryan, Trenton, Mason and Kendall) over these past months. Of Kaoru’s four sons, Kendall is wheelchair bound. Currently the family lives in an apartment that is not wheelchair accessible. Patience House will meet ADA requirements, and as a bonus will be closer to the bus connections for Kendall to get to Culver City High School.
Our church has been represented well in the Coalition. The volunteers from First UMC who have so generously given of their time and dedication are: John Youngman, Bob Hedges, Patty Hedges, Karen Hopkins, Carmen Herrera, Larry Young, Nancy Sheinbein, Sam Johnson, Art Dodd, Jim Dodd, Janet Searfoss, Brandon Searfoss, Mike Olsson, Shalimar and Brett Carducci, Kristia and Nathan Oney, Gary Leinbach and myself, Martha Ross. Youth Build Day participants (April 2019) were Brandon Searfoss and Mia Staracci, with Nathan and Kristia Oney, and Jessica Lin. A very special thanks to Joyce and David Landsverk, Lynn Stokes and Carol Reich who planned and delivered lunches to the Westside Coalition volunteers on several occasions during our build days. Delicious and nutritious ~ to keep us going!
While First UMC’s official participation is winding down with our last scheduled build day on November 2, 2019, there will be future building opportunities through the Westside Church Coalition.
Patience House enables us to ‘Be the Hope’ for neighbors within our own backyard while growing in faith and friendship with our Methodist Coalition members.
Thanks be to God for this opportunity to share our gifts and be in Mission to others.
Habitat for Humanity Mission
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles builds and renovates homes in partnership with God and people everywhere with a goal of eliminating substandard housing by making decent, affordable housing a matter of conscience and action in our communities.
How does it work?
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, noninterest loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build even more Habitat houses. Habitat for Humanity provides a hand-up, not a hand-out. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, partner families invest hundreds of hours of their own labor – called sweat equity – into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
Westside Churches Coalition
First UMC is one of nine churches to join in a coalition to fund and build a home in Culver City. To learn more on our efforts and to check the next WCC build date contact First UMC Santa Monica church representative Martha Ross: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Joyce Landsverk.
UPDATE: February 12, 2019
Day at Marie Callendar’s
Monday, March 25 at 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 11324 National Blvd.
Marie Callendar’s West Los Angeles will donate 20% of your party’s food and beverage purchases to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles – including the purchase of whole pies and take-out).
To participate, you must present this flyer (hard copy or show electronic version) to your server. Other coupons, discounts or scrip may not be used during this fundraiser event.
Volunteers and donors were invited to meet the Mulvihill family, check out the progress of Patience House, and enjoy delicious refreshments on Saturday, December 1: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Culver City Presbyterian Church.
UPDATE: July 19, 2018
View select photos here from the July build, provided by Joyce & David Landsverk.
UPDATE: June 1, 2018
UPDATE: April 3, 2018 – There is a volunteer opportunity this Saturday, April 7 in Culver City. View the information sheet for details and to RSVP.
UPDATE: August 2017
Due to a construction process delay, the first build date of September 30 and build timeline will be pushed several weeks. Visit the Habitat table during Coffee Hour on Sunday September 10 for updates and to reschedule, if needed.
Video from the Habitat for Humanity Builders Ball –
Profile of the Mulvihill Family
Meet our Patience House Family
by Jill Obery Dodd
On May 20, Westlight Church hosted a wonderful music program with plenty of refreshments for the packed room. Habitat representative Chris Untiet, revealed the Mulvihill Family as recipents of Patience House, and presented then with a tool belt and flowers. The room was filled with great joy with lots of applause and tears. Fundraising efforts will conclude with a small online auction June 15 – 26, at www.biddingforgood.com/westsidechurchcoalition. And we look forward to getting volunteers signed up for a fall build! Thank you to everyone for your donations and prayers!
UPDATE: MAY 2017
We’re moving closer than ever to our fundraising goal and the ground breaking of Patience House! – Jill Obery Dodd
May 20, 7-9 p.m. at the Venice Japanese Community Center 12448 Braddock Drive, LA 90066
The Westside Church Coalition invites everyone to Jazz for Friends – Help Build a House and Hope for a concert sponsored by Westlight Church, part of our coalition. The show will feature WOW:Women of Westlight, a singing group. Suggested donation is $20 (refreshments included) with proceeds going directly to our Coalition house. Email Lori Tamura at email@example.com to reserve your ticket or pick up at the door. Checks can be made out to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.
Online Silent Auction
Open June 15 to June 26
Then, check out the website Bidding for Good www.biddingforgood.com/westsidechurchcoalition for our Silent Auction from June 15-26. We have less than $10,000 to raise toward our $150,000 goal! We’re also on track to begin volunteer sign ups in June, so stay tuned. Thank you everyone!!
UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2017
by Jill Obery Dodd
Good things are happening with our Coalition progress! We are nearing our fundraising goal with over $130,000 turned in to Habitat from all church partners. Remaining to raise is a little under $17,000. This is exciting news and we thank everyone who has been a part of getting the project to this point. As we close the fundraising gap, we’ll begin to talk more about volunteer build opportunities at our monthly meetings. Additionally, the Habitat Homeowner meetings in January were well attended garnering many applications. Finally, look for the special Habitat for Humanity LA Lenten Devotional Calendar which you can pick up at the Sunday Welcome Table, and the Hospitality Table. This is a great way to combine support for Habitat Culver City with your Lenten spiritual practice.
First UMC is excited to join in a coalition of Westside churches, to fund and build a home in Culver City for a family in need. The coalition’s fundraising goal is $150,000 for all churches combined, with $113,000 already raised (as of December 6.) Once the money has been raised, building will begin and will be staffed by volunteers from the coalition churches.
While we build and repair homes nationally and internationally through our Haiti and Youth Service Project efforts, Habitat for Humanity gives us a chance to do something in our own backyard. Habitat is also an opportunity to share the good news with a friend who may feel uncomfortable coming to a traditional church event or worship gathering. Also, Habitat homes are well constructed and give us a tangible way to be of service.
Donate to the First UMC Habitat for Humanity effort HERE (please notate: Habitat in the Organization field), or you may bring a check to the church office or during worship with Habitat for Humanity written in the memo line.
- Rev. Robert English discusses Habitat for Humanity on the radio show “Spotlight on Community,” hosted by Terri-Rae Elmer. Listen to the show here.