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Local Habitat for Humanity reflects on Former President Jimmy Carter’s contributions

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Members of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity are keeping close tabs, as best they can, on the ailing health of former President Jimmy Carter and, his legacy.

(Courtesy: Habitat for Humanity)

"Our mission of building homes, communities and, the hope former President Carter embodied so deeply. We're so grateful and holding him and his family in our hearts right now," said Jessica de L'Arbre, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County.

The local chapter was founded in 2000 but the larger, national organization was founded in the 1960s. Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, got involved in the mid-1980s.

Through the partnership between the national Habitat for Humanity and the Carter Work Project, the former president and first lady helped build roughly 4,000 homes in 14 countries.

Nearly two dozen of those affordable homes were built in south Santa Barbara County.

"We can count that but we cannot count the influence that they have on the organization and the number of volunteers that have been inspired, worldwide."

de L'Arbre said one word comes to mind.

"Equality. He always talked about that and the part of the mission that I know connected for them so much was building alongside the homeowners and bringing people together in that belief, in shelter and affordable housing. He and Rosalynn have just played such an influential role and we're so grateful."

The Carter's legacy carries on, locally, to this day.

Three cottage parcels on the 700 block of Cota Street are slated for six new, three bedroom Habitat homes in the next year; the third cottage next door will be repurposed.

The City of Santa Barbara is currently reviewing the application.

"Our work is well underway and we're really excited to serve our low-income population and present home ownership opportunities for them."

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here


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