Coming home

Coming home

Karla Moran grew up in Woodcrest, a neighborhood in Fullerton, Calif. She and her husband, George, want a safe, nice place to raise their four children: Melony, 5; Bryan, 2; Adileny, 9; and Ilene, 6.

The couple is among dozens of residents teaming up with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County and other community partners to revitalize Woodcrest. “My roots are here,” Moran says.

After just a year, the change in Woodcrest is palpable. The neighborhood has reclaimed the park next to the elementary school from graffiti artists and drug dealers. A new partnership with the Fullerton police is cutting down on crime. Through a leadership-training program offered by Habitat Orange County and another nonprofit, NeighborWorks Orange County, residents are becoming their own best advocates with the school board, civic groups, and city and state officials.

For the first time in a long time, residents feel proud and hopeful about where they live. “This is a good community,” Moran says, “and we are making good things happen here.”

Photo by Ezra Millstein