Howell Custom Building Group oversees the Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity 2012 Builders Blitz
Two Homes Built in 5 days for two hardworking, deserving families
The week of June 4th was life-changing for us. That was the week of the nationwide Habitat for Humanity Builders Blitz , when 200 homes were built in just 5 days across the country. As part of this nationwide effort, we oversaw the construction of a duplex for two families in Lawrence. The project took months of planning, so that what would normally take months to build could be completed in days.
Unlike typical Habitat projects that use unskilled volunteers to build homes, this project was constructed by professional tradespeople who donated their labor and materials so the homes could be built quickly, at little cost. While Howell Custom Building Group directed the project, we had help from a core team of five other local building companies to plan and construct the homes. Additionally, dozens of local companies contributed materials, money, food, volunteers and sweat equity. In total, close to 300 people participated in the build, including the future homeowners who worked side-by-side with us to make their homes a reality. Coordinating schedules and volunteers really put our project management skills to the test! The week’s efforts culminated on Saturday, June 9th with the former Emmy award winning host of This Old House and Renovation Nation, Steve Thomas, visiting the site to help with last minute details and offering inspirational words to the new homeowners and volunteers. “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to join home builders who are helping to make Home Builders Blitz a success,” said Thomas. “With their help and support, Habitat is able to make affordable housing a reality with even more families this year. The expertise and skill these home building professionals bring to the table is a welcome addition to Habitat’s efforts to build affordable housing.”
Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization dedicated to building homes and building hope in the Merrimack Valley. Working in partnership with families in need, volunteers, and donors, they build simple, affordable, homes that are then sold to families at cost with a no-interest mortgage. New homeowners are also required to volunteer 250 “sweat equity” hours– following the model of a “hand up, not a hand out”. This partnership makes it possible for families who could not otherwise afford a home realize the dream of homeownership.
Working with our community to provide homes for these families was one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed.Habitat continues to need volunteers every Saturday to help with ongoing construction – no prior experience needed. Want to volunteer? Sign up here.
To learn more about the Builders Blitz, check out Fox 25 News coverage of the event