CSUN’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon lends a hand with Habitat for Humanity

Marina D. Sandoval

Along with Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Stephen Bincang a student at UCLA volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. After a few attempts at breaking down the wall, Bincang was able to knock it down. Photo Credit: Marina D. Sandoval / Staff reporter

Habitat for Humanity is building homes for low-income working families in Pacoima. On Saturday, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a fraternity at CSUN, spent the day helping out.

In the early morning the Sigma Alphas were knee deep in dirt and sewage. Twenty three  fraternitybrothers joined together to build, dig and make a difference.

“We try to volunteer at least once a year. Fraternities get such a bad rap for not doing anything. They’re known for just partying,” said Jim Raggio, president, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

This has been the second year that Sigma has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. They originally found out about the organization through fellow brother Steven Ow, better known as “Boy” to his brothers. Ow is the philanthropy chair. He finds events and organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, in order to get his brothers involved in helping others.

Habitat for Humanity has been working at this Pacoima location for five years. The goal is to build 61 homes. Thirty-eight homes are now occupied. Fourteen families are being worked with now, as they wait for their new home.

In order to apply, families must be citizens or legal residents, with one child at least under the age of 18. Their income must be under HUD guidelines families must sign a release to put in some sweat equity. Once these steps are accomplished, the families must participate in home and financeworkshops.

“We have a campus chapter, were schools and colleges will come out and volunteer for a day of service or a couple times in a month,”said Joyce Grair, community outreach director for Habitat for Humanity.

Grair said she has seen great support from the CSUN community in the five years she has been with Habitat for Humanity.