Habitat for Humanity of the Indian Wells Valley
Ridgecrest, California

Habitat for Humanity IWV History

Founder Irwin (Bud) Shull

Bud Shull had worked at the Naval weapons base at China Lake for a number of years. After he retired from full-time employment at China Lake in 1978, he and his wife Dot became RV enthusiasts. From 1993 to 1998 they traveled with Habitat Care-A-Vanners, a group of RVers who like to combine traveling with helping Habitat for Humanity partner families build their own homes.

In 1998 when Bud and Dot moved back to the Indian Wells Valley they shared their very positive Habitat Care-A-Vanning experiences with several service clubs and churches in IWV. When the Optimist Club heard the presentation in the fall of 1998, they expressed an interest in forming an affiliate in the Indian Wells Valley. They were convinced there was a real need in Ridgecrest for affordable, decent, safe homes for low-income families. Optimist Club President, Jack Morrow, Board Member Jim Netzer, along with Bud Shull and Gary Charlon, agreed to take the necessary action to start an affiliate in the Indian Wells Valley. They became the official founders of HFHIWV.

With the help of the City of Ridgecrest City Planner Lois Landrum, work was begun on a Housing Needs Assessment. It was determined there was, in fact, a real need for a Habitat affiliate in the Indian Wells Valley. There were about 1500 families who lived in sub-standard conditions and were unable to become homeowners through conventional means. It was also noted that the 1500 families could qualify for a Habitat home if their incomes were between 25-50% of the median income in IWV.

People from all parts of the community began to come together to form a Steering Committee. Among them, in addition to the four founders, were Pam Bradley, Adolphus Cleveland, David DeAnza, Belen Garza, Maria Gonzalez, Clyde Hazen, Ken Kelley, Bettye Moody, Maria Morales, Rosa Maria Ortega, Charlotte Paulsen, Mike Pierce, Mark Roether, Maria Magdelena Sosa and Jean Throckmorton. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of California and the IRS, and non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) Public Benefit Corporation was received in February 2000.

When the application for Affiliate Status was submitted, the Board of Directors was: Gary Charlon, President; John Morrow, Vice President; Charlotte Paulsen, Secretary; Harold Manning, CPA, Treasurer; Dan Tobias, Attorney and Judge, legal advisor; Committee chairs Clyde Hazen, Steve Rollins, Bettye Moody, Ken Kelley, Mike Pierce, Howard Auld; and additional members Adolphus Cleveland, Maria Morales, Jim Netzer, Mark Roether, Bud Shull, and Jean Throckmorton, A letter dated May 1, 2000, and signed by Ted Swisher, Director of U.S. Affiliates for Habitat for Humanity International, gave final approval of the affiliation of Habitat for Humanity of the Indian Wells Valley.

Habitat Leader Ken Kelley

Ken Kelley was in charge of Ridgecrest Public Works when he first heard about Habitat thorough Lois Landrum, the city planner. Bud had been working with Louis soliciting city support for Habitat. Lois saw the potential value Habitat could have on the IWV and shared that vision with Ken. The year was 1998. Ken joined and played a pivotal role in getting the Habitat for Humanity IWV charter approved by Habitat for Humanity International. For over 10 years Ken applied his leadership talents to making Habitat the success it is today. Ken's wife, Jeannette Bournival, also became a volunteer running the Habitat office, taking lots of photos and building the Habitat web site.

Related Web Sites

A history on all the Habitat for Humanity IWV projects and associated partner families are documented on this web site under navigation button "Partners". The projects are organized chronologically. For history on Habitat worldwide, visit the following web sites: