Habitat for Humanity Surprises Couple with New Home

L-R: Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area CEO Danny Armenta, Gloria and Raul Garcia, and Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger. (Tori Lavon/Clovis Roundup)

On January 28, Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area and the City of Clovis surprised an elderly couple with a new home.

For the last 25 years, Raul and Gloria Garcia have moved between cities to find a home to call their own. They currently live in a small studio apartment in Fresno.

The small apartment does not have heating or cooling. The apartment is also in a high crime area. There is not enough room for Gloria to do her crafts. In addition, Raul’s commute to his job at Anlin Windows is across town in Clovis. These are the reasons the couple filled an application with Habitat for Humanity in hopes of being a recipient of a new home.

The surprise was arranged by inviting the couple to a walkthrough at a home where they could potentially be selected. The home is located near Bullard and Sunnyside Avenues just a few minutes away from Raul’s job.

“It would be nice to know, we would have this house because it would be tranquility,” said Raul Garcia.

Danny Armenta, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area, led the introduction joined by Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger and Andy Haussler, the City of Clovis’ Community and Economic Development Director.

The house once belonged to Sally Johnson, who was the first Habitat for Humanity homeowner in the area. She lived in the home for 25 years and now, it is ready for a new family.

“Our goal as a city is to have people live and work in the same community,” said Mayor Bessinger. “This is a good day.”

Mayor Bessinger presented a wooden box to the couple. Inside the box were two golden hammers along with a note.

The note read that Raul and Gloria had been selected to be the new owners of this home.

The couple was ecstatic and in shock. They were extremely grateful and appreciative to Habitat for Humanity and the City of Clovis.

Gloria said she prayed that this house would be for them. However, she would have understood if they were not selected. She could not believe that they were selected.

“This is unique, this home did not call for a growing family. It was a home especially for an older couple,” said Armenta.

The house is still undergoing renovations. Once it is finished, the Garcia’s will move into their new home.

Tori Lavon is a Multimedia Journalist from Reedley, California. She received her Bachelor's in Mass Communications and Journalism with an emphasis in Broadcasting from California State University, Fresno. Currently, she is a radio intern at One Putt Broadcasting. On occasion, Tori has the opportunity to be on-air with talent. She is getting her start in media. She has a passion for reporting, photography, and videography. Tori also has a love for art; she loves to draw, paint, and does pottery on the side. One day she hopes she can be on-air talent at a radio station as well.