“Changing this community, one house at a time”

habitat for humanity

Four months after breaking ground, Habitat for Humanity volunteers who helped build two homes on Vernon Street celebrated with the new homeowners at a July 5 dedication ceremony.

Homeowners Michael and Kiara Rivera and Jose Vazquez and Yamilca Bracero worked alongside their family members, Yale New Haven Hospital employees and physicians and other volunteers from Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven to build the homes at 45 and 47 Vernon St.

The homes are the ninth and 10th sponsored by YNHH. Michael Holmes, senior vice president, Operations, noted that service to the community is an integral part of Yale New Haven Health System’s mission. Michael Bennick, MD, medical director, Patient Experience, helped initiate the partnership between Habitat and YNHH and its medical staff 10 years ago. He and other speakers at the dedication remarked on how much the neighborhood has changed since Habitat volunteers began rebuilding homes there.

“We are changing this community, one house at a time,” Dr. Bennick said. Habitat is an international non-profit organization that builds, renovates and repairs houses for families. Families purchase their homes through affordable monthly mortgage payments and invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, along with volunteers, to build the houses. More than 500 YNHH employees and medical staff members have volunteered on Habitat home builds over the years.