Photos by Chris Stone
Updated at 9:40 p.m. June 23, 2015
NASCAR great Jimmie Johnson returned Tuesday to his old hometown of El Cajon to see the fruits of his foundation’s labors — and Habitat for Humanity’s.
Around 400 volunteers Monday began helping San Diego Habitat for Humanity with a home-building blitz in East County, erecting four houses in five days for needy families. Johnson also pitched in.
The effort was supported in part by a $50,000 donation from the foundation of auto racing champion Johnson, which was matched by the Lowe’s home improvement store chain, his sponsor.
— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) June 23, 2015
Habitat for Humanity in 2009 built a couple of 1,300-square-foot houses on Foundation Lane in El Cajon, and these next four are being constructed on the same street. By late morning Monday, the framing was completed on the first floor of one of the structures.
“Chandra and I are extremely excited to see phase two of this development become a reality,” Johnson said. “It’s great to see the progress of the families from phase one. We are proud to partner with Lowe’s, local builders and Habitat for Humanity to expand Foundation Lane and provide homes for more families.”
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) June 18, 2015
Joan Higginbotham, director of community relations at Lowe’s, said: “Lowe’s is committed to strengthening the communities where we live and work by helping ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable housing.
“We’re excited to help Habitat for Humanity and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation make a meaningful impact on the El Cajon community through the Home Builders Blitz.”
— Jimmie Johnson Fndn (@TeamJJF) June 23, 2015
The completed homes will be sold to Habitat for Humanity Partner families who qualify according to Habitat for Humanity’s family selection criteria – a demonstrated need for improved housing, the ability to repay an affordable mortgage, and willingness to partner with Habitat by completing 250-500 sweat-equity hours before moving into the homes.
“Working alongside partner families, volunteers and generous sponsors, Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable housing for local families in need,” said former Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, President/CEO of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.
“This mission is possible because of the support of great partners like the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe’s, and we are so grateful to be working with them once again in El Cajon.”The Johnsons launched the foundation in February 2006, which has committed more than $7.7 million to various charities. It now focuses on K-12 public education.
Volunteer builder Jesse Gonsalves told CBS8 that the good cause makes the hard work worthwhile.
“It’s exhausting, draining, but well-deserved, well worth it,” Gonsalves said. “It’s awesome — it’s exciting.”
The project also received financial support from the city of El Cajon and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Balfour Beatty Construction, Clark Construction, McCarthy Builders and RQ Construction are helping out with the effort, according to Habitat for Humanity.
The new homes will be sold to families who qualify according to Habitat for Humanity’s selection criteria — which includes a demonstrated need for improved housing, the ability to repay an affordable mortgage and willingness to put in 250-500 hours of “sweat equity” by working on their homes and residences of other Habitat families.
— City News Service
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