PARTNERING UP AND BUILDING OUT: San Diego Pride & Habitat For Humanity

[ 0 ] January 9, 2018 |

by joel martens – 

Part longtime vision and part lucky accident, the partnership between San Diego Pride and Habitat for Humanity was actually a dream of one of Pride’s board emeritus, Judi Schaim, for more than two decades.

Flash forward to March 2017 and a Humanity at a Qualcomm LGBT ERG mixer where San Diego Pride’s Director of Operations, Fernando Zweifach López, Jr. ran into some folks from Habitat for Humanity, who just happened to be on the lookout for someone from San Diego Pride!

As luck would have it, both groups had a vision for a partnership and both were excited to see what the possibilities were….And because of that, San Diego Pride Build OUT was born.

We asked López some questions about what that partnership might look like:

The Build OUT partnership with Habitat for Humanity is a unique one, will it be an ongoing partnership?

The hope is to have this be an annual event, and one that can grow each year. We were limited to only 60 spots, because of the logistics involved in putting something like this together. If it goes well, both sides are hoping to make this an annual event that can bring even more folks together.

How does Habitat for Humanity’s vision coincide with San Diego Pride and the LGBTQ community?

While many folks may think about Habitat as building homes and Pride as putting on a parade, at the end of the day both organizations are about bringing people together to build community and inspire hope. It’s been wonderful to be a part of the process of converging these visions in to a day of action.

How does the process differ as far as volunteering with Habitat for Humanity?

The actual process itself is the same as becoming a Pride volunteer. Whether you’re volunteering at our weekend events, or any of our other opportunities year round, head down to and sign up for a shift. The condition here, is signing your life away on a waver from Habitat for Humanity.

How many locations are planned and what typically will volunteers be working on?

We will be in four different locations: Harrison Street which is a build site in Logan Heights, Kearny Mesa, National City and Escondido, which are ReStores. Volunteers will have a variety of jobs that day depending on what state the build site is…Anything from painting to dry wall to nailing away. We even have volunteers supporting the volunteers, ensuring everyone is fed and hydrated.

I see that there are spots in what they call the ReStores, can you explain what that entails versus a building site?

At a build site, you are literally helping to build a home, and at a ReStore you’re supporting the funding of Habitat for Humanity by keeping costs low for part of their income model. They might be a cashier for the day, doing inventory, helping customers, or doing a display. At the end of day, we wanted to ensure as many people could volunteer at as many locations as possible.

What are you most excited about with this particular volunteer opportunity?

I love the unique nature of this partnership. Here are two organizations that most people have never said in the same sentence before, working hand-in-hand to find shared values all while engaging community and building community. It’s a beautiful thing to focus on how two vastly different entities can find common ground to great good and the world needs more of that.

Tell The Rage Monthly readers something they should know about Pride they might not know.

Pride partners with around 30 different non-profits every year to engage community in a variety of ways and sometimes, we can even bring those agencies together. This partnership with Habitat for Humanity also allowed us to introduce them to Family Services at the San Diego LGBT Community. Together our triad was able to get two Children’s playhouses donated to low income LGBTQ families and have one of those homes available for kids to play in at this year’s Pride Festival Children’s Garden. I love that we’re able to bring people together to better serve each other with love and kindness.

Build OUT takes place on Saturday, January 27. For more information or to volunteer, go to:


Category: San Diego

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