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11/27 & 11/28/12-Habitat Volunteers Giving Back To Veterans

Posted by in A Brush with Kindness, Moreno Valley, Volunteers | Comments Off on 11/27 & 11/28/12-Habitat Volunteers Giving Back To Veterans
11/27 & 11/28/12-Habitat Volunteers Giving Back To Veterans

Habitat Riverside volunteers helped to make the new Lighthouse Treatment Center in Moreno Valley a lot brighter.  This treatment center is a  four unit apartment complex that houses veterans with mental health concerns. The center provides a place for veterans to stay while they are receiving treatment. Their staff has been busy securing funding to upgrade the facilities with energy efficient windows, ceiling fans in the rooms and electrical system improvements. They were granted  some funding through The Home Depot Foundation for the windows and approached Habitat Riverside for help with some of the repairs and painting.

Well, painting is right up our alley with ABWK! After all of the electrical and window improvements were completed, our faithful volunteers came together last Tuesday and Wednesday to help paint the interior of the four apartments and the laundry room.  The recently opened treatment center is scheduled to have an open house and dedication on December 6th.  Karyn, the center’s director, was delighted to see how many volunteers gave up their time to help.

The project was a bit different from our typical exterior painting program and involved more surface preparation because it was all interior painting. Typically we pressure wash the exterior and do a little scraping and sanding. Pressure washing won’t cut it on interior surfaces so preparation was all manual wiping and washing. Once the Tuesday group was signed in, they got busy with blue tape, tarps and brown paper to cover the furniture, floors and anything else that needed protection. Since all of the rooms were scheduled to be painted white, we didn’t have to worry much about which paint went where, which in itself can be a challenge sometimes! The group broke up into three smaller groups to paint the three occupied apartments’ ceilings and walls that were ready to paint.

Some areas in all the apartments needed last minute sanding, caulking or prepping before painting. Armando and John, Lighthouse residents, and a couple of our volunteers helped get these areas ready.  The group rolled and brushed all day and by the end of the first day the majority of the painting for all three apartments was almost finished.  The center’s office/apartment, laundry room and unfinished areas in the three apartments were left for day two.

Fog and a bit of drizzle moved in early on day two at the Lighthouse Treatment Center. Typically that would be the death call for ABWK but not for an inside job! The crew got right to work to finish the three apartments. The volunteers painted the ceilings, halls and walls that needed a second coat. Mike and Gary prepped the center’s office/apartment to paint.  Then each of them took on the living room and bedroom ceilings.  The  rest of the crew came over to help them  just after noon.  Armando, Daniel and John, Lighthouse residents painted the laundry room.

By the end of our two days our 20 volunteers had painted all four apartments except for a few places that needed to have a bit more finish work by Armando before paint.  On Friday, we completed the final touches and painted the new entry doors.

Most of the volunteers for this project had been with us before but this was not our typical ABWK project so they seemed to enjoy the change of pace. They also realized quickly that this was a great way to give back to those who gave so much for us. Having some of the residents pitched in to help and work alongside the volunteers made this a very special experience.  Thanks again, Habitat volunteers, you all did a great job. We pray that the improvements made will make every day living for these residents just a little brighter.