Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Local women build homes with Habitat for Humanity

Desiderio Womens Build Day Rockford volunteers celebrate National Women Build Week
Jean Garcia | 15 May, 2018, 00:33

According to the Habitat for Humanity website, about 5,000 families have had homes built or repaired in this program over the last 10 years by more than 117,000 all-women volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity, Lowe's and thousands of women nationwide came together this week to build housing in more than 300 communities including Rockford.

"For them to be able to come out here and work on projects like that, they're learning, and I'm learning when I come out so I'm having a lot of fun with that", said volunteer Katie Davis.

Leblanc said, "1 in three households are cost burdens which means they spend more than ⅓ of their monthly income on housing, and if you look at renters, its more than half of renters are cost burdened, which means they're making tough choices between safe housing, adequate nutrition, transportation".

"The (construction) industry itself is a high-paying job, so it exposes younger women to possible career tracks".

"Empowered women empower women".

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As Perry and about a dozen other volunteers from the police department waited to start swinging hammers, they looked around the neighborhood.

"This is give-back time", said Shana Cruz.

He said last year's build raised the walls of the same house, and it was satisfying to work on it nearly from start to finish.

"It opens up doors to, like, give your kids hope in the future to go to college, to have a place for them to grow up that's stable and happy, to be able to communicate with your neighbors, to be able to get to know people that you otherwise wouldn't have gotten a chance to know", says Turner. We really couldn't do what we do without hundreds of volunteers all year round. "I remember signing the signatures and little notes on the wood (framework) ... looking out the window, I just recall doing all the things indoors, outdoors, putting up the framework. Sooner or later, I'll drive down this road and see a family riding bikes in and out of it, which will be very touching".

Each year, National Women Build Week is held the week leading up to Mother's Day.

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