By Charly SHELTON
Habitat for Humanity is widely known as a charitable organization that builds homes for those who have none. But for those who already have homes they offer another service. The Home Repair Program is a branch of Habitat for Humanity that helps families in need get the home repairs done that they cannot afford. Habitat pairs candidates with contractors interested in donating to the cause to do the work – contractors like Michael Chung, owner and founder of Coram Design Center in La Crescenta.
“This is my second stint on this kind of project,” Chung said. “I actually approached [Habitat for Humanity] because I connected with one of their board members through a previous client of ours and got interested in seeing how I could do good with the business. I’ve always been interested in social entrepreneurship.”
Chung was guided to the Home Repair Program as a good fit for his services. The most recent project he worked on with the program was finished last week in Bellflower.
For 20 years, retired schoolteacher Barbara Stevenson has owned her home, which she describes as “spacious, private and filled with beautiful memories.” She spends her retirement with her five children, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, tutoring the youngest in reading and math. Last week, Habitat L.A. arranged for interior and exterior repairs, and refurbishments to the home, including minor electrical and plumbing upgrades, fascia repairs and replacement of old, worn carpet that had become a health hazard. Chung and his team were tasked with replacing the flooring and baseboards, removing the old carpet and installing new laminate wood flooring.
“[The installation] went well,” Chung said. “She was super surprised; we got 700 square feet of laminate [installed] in one day, and we installed all the baseboards in one day. We finished, cleaned up and the next day we did a walk-through with Barbara and the director of Habitat for Humanity. There were no complications.”
Chung said he enjoyed the work and is looking forward to doing the next project with the Home Repair Program.
“I just met with them [Tuesday] and signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) for two projects [a year] for the next five years, 10 projects in total, up to $5,000 each project. So we’ve committed to do something with them long-term.”