Habitat for Humanity is an organization that provides housing for families that might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. They carefully screen potential families and provide comprehensive services to ensure they succeed. The houses themselves are built with volunteer labor and generous donors help with the construction costs. They have a shop and various ways to solicit donations and revenues to help fund the program. Once a family is established in a home they provide the mortgage and assist with financial management and whatever services are needed for the family to succeed. Virtually nobody defaults on their mortgage which is vastly superior to the general housing market. What could be better than an organization that gives families the opportunity to realilize the American dream of home ownership?
The average person can be part of the process by donating a day to help with the construction. People of all abilities are given an opportunity to contribute in whatever way they can towards the completion of the home. This is done with good leadership and an organized plan to coordinate the building. People complete necessary paperwork and are then given safety instruction. They are then matched with tasks within their capabilities such as nailing wood, moving building supplies or collecting stones and straightening out the construction site. Some tasks require small teams and others such as raising a wall require a larger number of workers. Only really skilled individuals use power tools. Otherwise people generally get an appron, gloves, eye protection, a hammer and are told which nails to use at whatever task is being completed, Other aspects of the construction likely involve other tools and tasks but what was noted was the nature of the work on a two family building in Hudson last Saturday.
The particular group involved last Saturday was primarily from the Lutheran Churchs that are overseen by Reverend Mark Frickey. The people present already had a bond but shared a new connectiveness in their joint colaboration on this project. The day started off cool but got hot under the mid day sun. It was inspiring to see people work together as they did for this noble purpose. To add to satisfaction the selected family also were present and assisted in the chores. To see their happiness only added to the energy of the participants. The leaders were very supportive and clearly enjoyed what they were part of. They also saw to it that everyone was hydrated and took appropriate breaks. There was also a pride by all present to be sure that everything was just right. During a difficult wall installation things had to be taken appart and rebuilt which consumed alot of time. But everyone knew there could be no shortcuts and that way everyone would know things were done to the highest standards.
No doubt the families that move into their brand new home will understand what went into making their living quarters and will appreciate it that much more because of it. They will also have a chance of home ownership they likely might not have otherwise had. They also will have the security of supports to ensure they keep their dream home. This could only mean an improved quality of life that contributes to the community as well. For those who have the time to participate in such an endeavor it is a satisfying way to make a difference in a very significant and concrete way. If this holds any interest for you please seek them out on their website.