Lorenzo Castillo, Broker/Owner of EXIT Castillo Realty in Oxnard, California, was honored with the EXIT Realty Corp. International 2019 Humanitarian Award at the company’s annual Convention held recently at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Castillo was recognized from among thousands of real estate professionals across the U.S. and Canada for his work in the substance abuse recovery movement, assistance of farm workers, and advocacy for supportive housing.
Castillo was born in Mexico and emigrated to the United States in 1967. His family lived in migrant farm worker camps, and at age 9, he went to work picking lemons in the fields with his father. The family eventually moved to California where he attended school and worked in the fields until 1978.
After a career that included selling furniture door-to-door and restaurant management, Castillo obtained his real estate license, serving clients under both the RE/MAX and CENTURY 21 banners until 2005 when he opened his own, independent office. During this time, he grappled with substance abuse, working hard to achieve sobriety in 2004, and he has since been actively involved in the recovery movement. Given his firsthand knowledge of how crucial a stable housing environment is to achieve and maintain successful recovery, he established two recovery homes in Oxnard in 2007, both of which he still owns and operates.
In September of 2012, Castillo joined the EXIT Realty family of franchise brokerages under the EXIT Castillo Realty banner.
In January of 2014, he purchased and began operating the Garden City Labor Camp. As a result, he became acutely aware of the need among both the farm workers and single adult population for supportive housing that provides affordable, permanent sober living opportunities. It was that awareness that led him to begin the development of the proposed affordable Garden City Supportive Housing project on the labor camp property.
In 2018, Castillo became the owner and property manager of the Santa Paula Motel with the intention of developing the site into additional affordable supportive housing. That same year, he proudly became a citizen of the United States. Castillo has been married for more than 40 years and has three children and seven grandchildren.
“We are so thankful for the selfless efforts put forth by Lorenzo,” said Craig Witt, President of the U.S. Division of EXIT Realty Corp. International. “The Humanitarian Award recognizes the work of people like Lorenzo in communities throughout the United States and Canada who are devoted to the welfare of humanity. Lorenzo continues to serve his community with passion and faith to inspire the people with whom he comes into contact so they, too, can serve others.”