To save time and increase community participation, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton has opted to start building their donated houses in parking lots instead of on their permanent sites.
Catherine Myers, development associate for HHGD, said the parking lot builds help get the community more involved — especially when they are held in a church parking lot.
“(Volunteers) can come to the church that they are familiar with, do this parking lot build, give back to their community, have a greater sense of community and really live out the mission of being a member of a church, which is to care for your community and your neighbor,” Myers said.
The latest parking lot build will take place today at Stillwater United Methodist Church, where approximately 250 Habitat for Humanity volunteers will gather to build the framework for two donated houses.
One of the houses — a two-story, five bedroom — is for a family of seven and will eventually be placed in the Walnut Hills neighborhood in Dayton.
The second house — a single story, three bedroom — is for woman trying to fulfill her dreams of being a homeowner and will eventually be placed on North Williams Street.
The public donates materials, including lumber, or money to go toward the building of the houses. Each house costs approximately $125,000 to build, according to Myers.
The volunteers, who will go through a brief orientation, are going to attempt to frame out these houses within four hours.
Today’s work includes constructing the walls and cutting out the doors and windows.
“Sunday morning after services at Stillwater, the congregation will come out, they will bless the homes,” Myers said. “They will sign the walls, which is always a very touching moment.”
Representatives of CrossRoads Missions, a Kentucky-based ministry that helps build homes for those in need, will lead today’s parking lot build.
Once the walls for the houses are complete, they will be loaded onto flatbed trucks provided by CrossRoads. The frame work will then be transported to their permanent sites, where the building will continue.
Building the walls in a parking lot as opposed to at the permanent site allows HHGD to have more volunteers help with construction, according to Myers.
“When we do building at our sites, the most volunteers we can expect are 10. That’s just the size of the sites and the work that needs to be done,” Myers said. “Framing out walls is something that doesn’t need to be done on site.”
Plus, “generally speaking, with these parking lot builds, it does take off a little bit of time from what we would normally take to build a house,” Myers said.
There are enough volunteers for today’s project, but those who would like to volunteer in the future, should visit www.daytonhabitat.org.
Every family accepted into Habitat’s homeownership program is required to work 275 hours by volunteering alongside the volunteers on build sites and in the Habitat ReStore and offices.
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