I’ve been a member of Giveback Homes for a while and have been honored to work alongside them and my colleagues at The Agency in order to help create more affordable home-ownership opportunities both locally and worldwide. My colleagues and I have partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat L.A.) and Giveback Homes to help on build days, raised funds to help families in need and have had the incredible privilege of volunteering at the Union Rescue Mission.
Giving back to one’s community is incredibly rewarding in and of itself, but it is also nice to be recognized for one’s work and The Agency’s founder and CEO, Mauricio Umansky, was recognized last week for his generous philanthropic work and commitment to creating more affordable home-ownership opportunities in our community and beyond.
I was pleased to attend and applaud as Mauricio was acknowledged as a “Dream Builder” by Habitat L.A. who hosted their annual Los Angeles Builders Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Last year, this honor went to Magic Johnson!
The event was attended by top builders, developers and executives in the real estate and entertainment industries and proceeds are going to support the organization’s efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and make home-ownership a possibility for Los Angeles residents in need.
It was wonderful to see Mauricio receive his reward, but one of the highlights of the evening was the keynote speaker, Jose Tobar. In 1995 during the Carter Work Project, Habitat L.A. built 15 homes on Santa Ana Blvd. in Watts. Jose grew up in one of those homes and was able to provide us with his firsthand account of what it was like to grow up there and what a transformative and positive effect it had on his family. The room was riveted as Jose shared his story. It was moving and inspirational, and provided all the more encouragement for those hoping to make a difference in their own backyards and around the world!
To date, Habitat L.A. has built, renovated or repaired more than 750 homes in our Southern California communities and helped change the lives of more than 4,000 L.A. residents. They are hoping that by the year 2020, they reach their goal of raising and investing $100 million to revitalize neighborhoods and increase access to affordable home-ownership.