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On Friday, Nov. 18, The Agency and Giveback Homes partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to build homes for the third time this year. More than 30 agents and staff participated in the construction of six new homes located on a plot in Bellflower, California. Also on hand was local muralist and street artist Ruben Rojas of Beautify Earth who painted a piece inspired by gratitude.

Not only was our build day filled with gratitude but also plenty of laughter and fun, with The Agency volunteer crew pausing for a moment to partake in the Mannequin Challenge, a viral social media trend sweeping the nation.    

During the day, we also had the honor of meeting a recipient of one of the six homes, 21-year-old Genesis Jimemez, who worked alongside us contributing “sweat equity” hours as part of her family’s down payment for their new home. Genesis, the oldest of four children, described the challenges for a family of six sharing a two-bedroom, single-bath home. “Mornings are a pain,” she said. “I’ve lived in apartments my whole life, and owning a home means more stability and security…It feels wonderful not being afraid of being evicted from my home.”

In addition to contributing 200–500 sweat equity hours to the construction of their own home, Habitat recipients must also have a good credit rating, volunteer at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and attend workshops on financial stability and healthy living. Home recipients under the age of 16 have the opportunity to make sweat equity contributions on behalf of their family by earning good grades in school. Families that receive homes from Habitat generally have a household income that is 30-80% less than the median income of the city in which they live.  

Genesis, a nursing student who attends the local community college, was so overcome with gratitude she found herself at a loss for words. “The English language doesn’t have the words to explain how owning a home feels,” she said. “I can’t say it enough. To everyone who is a part of this, thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

This year, The Agency, in conjunction with Giveback Homes, has committed to contributing more than $40,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. Make a difference today by joining our Build-A-Thon and donate now.