Lakeshore Habitat to host Community Block Party to celebrate 42 home builds

Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity will be trading gala attire for a night of free family fun outdoors at its Vista Green Development on the south side of Holland, where 42 homes will be built for affordable homeownership in partnership with Jubilee Ministries. 
The Oct. 4 event will replace Lakeshore Habitat’s traditional Heart of Habitat Fall Fundraising Dinner.  

This year’s gathering offers an opportunity to hold a large-scale community event at Lakeshore Habitat’s largest-to-date development, where the nonprofit can invite neighbors and supporters to learn more and get involved, says Don Wilkinson, Lakeshore Habitat’s executive director.  
“One great memory many of us have growing up in a neighborhood is of an annual block party,” Wilkinson says. “Our vision for Vista Green is that of a community where kids are playing together in the common space, families are holding barbecues and people are coming together and supporting each other as neighbors. So we thought, why not kick off this new neighborhood with a block party and begin creating that community, not just with our future homeowners but by inviting in the greater community.”

Employer LG Energy Solution Michigan Inc. is the premier sponsor of the free event.

Fundraiser precedes free event

The fundraiser portion of the event will be a “Friends of Habitat Reception” at 5 p.m. where attendees can see a short program about the Lakeshore Habitat project. Cost is $40 and preregistration is requested. The event includes a full meal and a few bonus raffle tickets.  
“LG Energy Solution Michigan is proud to serve as a community partner with Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity,” says LG Energy Solutions Communications Manager Val Gent. “The Habitat neighborhood of 42 affordable homes is going to be an incredible asset for those in need within our area,” 
The free portion of the event, which is open to the public, runs from 6-8 p.m. It will include free children’s activities, including a martial arts performance, a magician, Outdoor Discovery Center animals, carnival games, building activities, a fire truck, balloons, face painting and more. Preregistration is encouraged but not required. 
Dinner is available from Poncho’s Tacos or Smoke ‘N Ash food trucks, and a drink from Simpatico Coffee will be $6. Raffle tickets are $10 (or 15 tickets for $100), with a chance to win a variety of prizes donated by local businesses. 
Parking is available at Res Life Church at 1006 Washington Ave, near 40th Street, where a trolley will provide free rides to the block party. 
Partnering with prospective homeowners

Funds raised will support the continued development of the Vista Green Neighborhood, where Habitat will build an additional homes for 18 families. Eight homeowners have already been selected and are partnering with Lakeshore Habitat. 

The Habitat model involves relationship building between homeowners, staff and volunteers. Staff members learn homeowners’ stories and spend time together. Specific homeowner build days are organized. Homeownership and financial classes are completed, and many hours are poured into the construction site with friends and family to help make their homeownership dream a reality. 

At the end of this journey, Lakeshore Habitat sells an affordable mortgage to each family at zero percent interest at an affordable level that is never higher than 29% of their income. 

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.