Charles Henderson, who gave Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County its first buildable lot in 1991, was one of those inspirations. Born in the South, Charles never learned to read or write. A hard worker, he grew vegetables and sold them from his wheelbarrow in Oak View where, over time, he was able to purchase vacant property. When we at Habitat met Charles, he was in his late 60s, his health was in decline, and he was living on less than $100 a month. Charles was also under pressure from County Code enforcement for his non-permitted, uninhabitable structures and all the “treasures” he had collected for use or sale.
We helped him get on Social Security, secured a caregiver, and moved both of them into a small travel trailer on the property while we installed a donated double-wide mobile home. Even before we finished, Charles indicated that in appreciation for Habitat’s help, he wanted to give his property to Habitat – which we then learned included not one but three buildable lots! Thankfully, he was able to enjoy his new Habitat neighbors for several years before he died.
After 10 years of searching for buildable land through moneyed individuals and organizations, Charles stepped forward giving Habitat all that he had. His gift launched the first of 56 homes completed with your support in Ventura County.
How have you been blessed in your life? How are you choosing to share your thankfulness? Who are you choosing to bless with your time and resources?
Habitat continues to appreciate all of your creative efforts and contributions. Together, we are thankful for the opportunity to participate in the continuing miracles of donated land and resources working in partnership with others like Charles who need affordable housing.
Founder, Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County