“After many months of construction, I’m delighted that we are finally handing the keys to the Mayor’s Build House to the Lopez Family,” Foster said. “I want to thank the many volunteers and sponsors for all of their help. We not only built a home, but also built a stronger community by bringing in people like the Lopez Family to set roots in this neighborhood.”
The Lopez Family are long-time residents of Long Beach. Enrique Lopez works for St. Mary Hospital in Long Beach, and his wife Sonia works for the Long Beach Unified School District. They have three children: Angel, Anthony, and Adan.
“Habitat for Humanity is grateful for the leadership of Mayor Bob Foster,” said Erin Rank, president and of CEO HFH GLA, at the event. “He has owned this project from the beginning. He helped us raise funds to purchase the materials, brought new community partners to the table and even put in some volunteer hours himself. We dedicate this home today in honor of his leadership.”
More than 450 volunteers from the Long Beach community and corporate sponsors donated 6,000-plus hours during the eight months of construction. The mayor recalled his trade skills by installing the carpet for the entire second floor of the house, as well as hanging drywall.
The Lopez Family found out they were the recipients of the Mayor’s Build during a surprise visit to their one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in July 2010. The wall-raising ceremony for their new four-bedroom, two-story house took place in March 2011.
The Lopezes qualified for homeownership by meeting income guidelines, demonstrating need and agreeing to give 500 hours of “sweat equity,” which include building their home and volunteering at other Habitat for Humanity locations. Mayor Foster led the fundraising efforts and also helped build the house alongside volunteers from the community and corporate sponsors, which include: Southern California Edison; Union Bank; Oxy Long Beach, Inc.; AECOM; BNSF Railways; Jet Blue; and Meridiam Infrastructure.
Sixth District Councilmember Dee Andrews also attended the celebration.