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Women to roll up sleeves and volunteer to rehabilitate Habitat home for mom and 2 children – BG Independent News

By JAN McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

Women across Wood County are being asked to put on hardhats and pick up hammers to work on a Habitat for Humanity house for a woman and her two children.

The 2024 Women Build Program for Habitat for Humanity of Wood County will be held July 25 to Aug. 2. Area women are invited to volunteer for three-hour shifts over the six-day home rehabilitation in Weston.

Previous “Women Build” projects involved women constructing “make-it, take-it” planter boxes using recycled wood – and making monetary donations to the local Habitat organization.

But this year, women are being asked to completely rehab a home so it is suitable for a single mom and her son and daughter. According to Habitat, despite the mom working two jobs, the family at one point was living in a camper since rent was not affordable.

“Women Build is a great opportunity for area women to help be part of the solution for affordable housing in Wood County,” said Mark Ohashi, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County. “Women, especially those who serve as heads of their families, disproportionately face obstacles that make decent, affordable housing seem impossible.”

Women Build Project in 2022, which involved building planters.

The house being rehabilitated is a Habitat home built in 2017 at 20436 Brooke Lane, Weston. The former residents of the home had to move, leaving behind a house in need of repairs.

Part of the work will focus on deconstruction, such as pulling up old carpeting and other flooring, Ohashi said. The volunteers will then work on replacing the carpet and flooring, replacing doors, redoing the bathroom, replacing electrical fixtures, repairing a shed, and installing new landscaping.

“They will know that they’re helping another family secure decent and affordable housing,” Ohashi said.

“Women Build volunteers are helping to build strong, stable neighborhoods where generations can thrive for generations to come,” he said.

Volunteers with no building skills need not worry, Ohashi said. Habitat will provide all the equipment and the construction manager and experienced volunteers will assist those new to the trade.

“We’ll guide them through it,” he said, adding that the volunteers just need to be willing to learn.

Volunteers can register for morning and afternoon sessions for the home rehab. Morning sessions run from 8 to 11 a.m., and afternoon sessions are noon to 3 p.m. For a $50 registration fee, each participant receives a spot on the Women Build team on the day of their choice, a T-shirt, snacks, beverages, and an invitation to the home’s dedication celebration. 

Interested women may register online at wchabitat.org/women-build-2024.

Among those working on the project are Nikki Murphy, her son and daughter who were approved for the Habitat homeownership program. Murphy, who has two full-time jobs, was living in a camper at one point due the sky-high cost of rent. She was determined to find a way to provide a home for her family. 

“The Murphy family will have a safe and comfortable place to call home later this summer thanks to their hard work, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, and Women Build volunteers,” Ohashi said.

“We’re excited about getting her into the house,” he said of Murphy.

Habitat for Humanity of Wood County provides homeownership and home repair opportunities to low-income families, seniors and veterans. On average, each Habitat home includes over 2,000 hours of volunteer support. Habitat for Humanity of Wood County is one of 44 Habitat affiliates in Ohio. For more information on criteria for being selected for Habitat’s Homeownership program, visit https://wchabitat.org/ or call 419-481-8100.

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