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The Narragansett Times: South County Habitat for Humanity is holding National Women Build Week event

Published on May 18, 2017

Local women are invited to help renovate a home in Charlestown tomorrow

By KENDRA GRAVELLE

CHARLESTOWN–South County Habitat for Humanity invites women to join in renovating a four-bedroom home in Charlestown tomorrow, during Habitat for Humanity’s 10th annual National Women Build Week.

Launched in partnership with Lowe’s in 2008, National Women Build Week is meant to empower women to advocate for affordable housing.

“It helps show that everybody and anybody can help build a home,” added Cliff Tyler, development and marketing coordinator for South County Habitat for Humanity.

“There are many ways that you can volunteer with Habitat,” he continued. “It’s more than just picking up and swinging a hammer.”

Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million toward the 2017 National Women Build Week.

“We’re thankful for the support Lowe’s provides us, in providing grants back to us, in order to support South County Habitat,” Tyler added.

South County Habitat for Humanity has a dedicated women’s team that works every Thursday, and has tackled both exclusive projects–mist recently, a home in Kingston, completed in 2015–in addition to projects with other volunteer crews.

“Not only are we trying to enable and empower our homeowners for success” Tyler added, “but there’s also an opportunity for people in the community to come out and really understand what it takes to hang a door, what it takes to paint a wall, what it takes to put trim around a window.”

Last fiscal year–April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017–South County Habitat for Humanity had 440 community members volunteer nearly 24,000 hours. Those volunteers filled cashier and stock positions in ReStore and filled spots on the marketing, development and family selection committees, in addition to participating in the actual construction of homes.

Tyler estimated that of those volunteers, about half were women and half were men. On the construction side, he guessed about 40 percent of the volunteers were women.

While last year’s Women Build Week project brought volunteers to Exeter, this year the group will continue work which began about two months ago on a four bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home in Charlestown.

“It’s not as difficult [to build a house] as people think it is,” Tyler said. “I think the volunteers walk away feeling good, thinking, I’ve done something good for the community, I’m helping out one of my fellow citizens in my community with achieving that dream of homeownership and I’ve learned a skill.”

The focus during Thursday’s project will be primarily on the home’s exterior, and will include the replacement of doors, power-washing and landscaping, Tyler said.

Tyler said he estimates that the house should be complete by the end of May.

South County Habitat for Humanity aims also to select a family to move into the house by the end of the month.

“A lot of people don’t understand that our homeowners work side-by-side with volunteers,” Tyler said, adding that the homeowners have an affordable mortgage.

Senator Susan Sosnowski (District 37, South Kingstown and New Shoreham) will also be in attendance during a luncheon at the construction site Thursday.

“I’m looking forward to a good weather day,” Tyler said, “and I think it’s a great opportunity for new volunteers–women, or we’ll have some men there, too–to come out and see what Habitat’s all about.” “We’re always looking for volunteers,” he continued.

Those interested in participating in Thursday’s Women Build project may either register on the South County Habitat for Humanity website, call the office, or are welcome to show up at the site, 42 Crossland St., Charlestown, at 8:30 a.m.