The West Angeles Church of God in Christ has joined Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the needy.
Under the partnership, the first formed between a South Los Angeles church and the home-building organization, West Angeles will provide volunteers, financial aid and spiritual support to Habitat.
"This is a significant covenant partnership for us," said Richard Hicks, executive director of the Los Angeles affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, a nationwide Christian ministry that builds and renovates homes, then sells them at no profit to deserving families. "We've built two homes in South-Central since June, and this joint effort will really help it along."
Under the partnership, West Angeles will provide funds--a few thousand dollars this year and more in following years--and on-site volunteers to help with construction and renovation. The spiritual support, said Hicks, amounts to West Angeles keeping Habitat in its prayers and lending moral support.
The Habitat's sixth church partnership was made official Dec. 17 in a ceremony at West Angeles. Other participants include Presbyterian churches in Malibu and Westwood.
Hicks said he approached West Angeles about a year ago at the suggestion of one of Habitat's board members, who is a member of the church. "We wanted to involve all churches in the Los Angeles area, particularly South L.A., to reflect the city's diversity," said Hicks.
Charles Blake, bishop of the 7,000-member Crenshaw District church, said he welcomed the opportunity. "I've observed the vital contributions the Habitat has made through the years, and felt very positive about them," said Blake. "As a sponsoring organization, we intend to not only help out with their work, but speak well of them and generally stand with them in their efforts."
West Angeles operates several outreach programs, including a Skid Row ministry, family and individual counseling and a substance-abuse program.
Habitat's Los Angeles affiliate formed in 1991 and has built two homes in Willowbrook. It uses donated materials and labor to build or improve its homes. Qualifying families must have annual incomes of no more than $24,000, and are chosen by Habitat's selection committee and board. Hicks said the next project, scheduled to begin late this month, will probably be in Watts or East Los Angeles.