Newberry Habitat Houses go up and Homeowners See the Dream in 3-D
By T. Myers
Each week when I return to the habitat site for volunteering, I have seen big changes in the two sites. First it was a foundation pour and then the floor decks. Soon there were walls up on the first house followed by the roof and doors, windows and suddenly, the walls were up on the second home.
Every week a cadre of volunteers shows up to work all of Friday and Saturday. Sometimes it is ten hard workers and sometimes it is close to 20 that begin the day at 9 Am and work until the contractor says thanks and wraps up the day. Some of the folks are former builders or carpenters, some are people who came to the Habitat construction classes and learned enough to help make them comfortable volunteering. Others are there because they are supporting their friends who will live in the homes and the homeowners are always working to put in their sweat equity.
During the first hour, the day is discussed and volunteers are assigned specific tasks. They range from moving materials that will be used to that day’s location for easy access by workers and people even put the newly delivered materials into the large storage trailer. There are definite building steps to follow, so using a hammer, a saw, holding the other end of a heavy piece of material, lifting, picking up, organizing, working together with others as a team –those are the things that volunteers do as part of their day’s work!
The homeowners for these two homes are already dreaming about what they will do inside the new homes when they finally get the keys! As the homes take shape, the dreams of ownership are growing. They dream about decorating their homes, with flooring choices, cupboards and counter tops, wall colors, plumbing fixtures and all of the choices every homeowner gets to make when they build their own home.
After the décor choices are made, they dream about furniture placement, or who sleeps in which room and how they will cover the windows, landscape their lots and every single exciting decision that will make their house a home.
The Newberry Habitat for Humanity Home Owner Program is open to all qualified individuals for consideration. The steps are actually very simple to start- fill out a short application that shows interest in being considered. Then, after the housing committee looks at the app, they work with those who qualify initially to complete the process and gain approval. Every qualified applicant will be helped by a group of professionals who live locally and volunteer to guide the process along. No one does this alone. Everyone who applies and is accepted works with the home owner team through the entire process. Habitat is built on volunteers- literally- from the ground up and from the first day of approval until the keys are in their hands.
In La Pine, Oregon there are already 22 homes alive with families and friends who are part of the La Pine community. Their children go to local schools and they have a real family home to return to at the end of the day.
La Pine is very proud of Newberry Habitat for Humanity. They are building La Pine one house at a time! For more information, please go to the Website: Newberryhabitat.org. You can also pick up applications at the La Pine ReStore and begin to be a part of the organization that builds lives as they build homes!