If you’re looking for a way to help and make a difference in your community, Habitat for Humanity might be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families who lack access to affordable housing.
Additionally, in collaboration with people and families in need, Habitat for Humanity restore, repair, or construct new homes or provide financial assistance to rebuild. They also strengthen communities and provide the foundation for eradicating poverty by helping families to achieve long-term homeownership.
Building a house requires approximately 2,000 volunteer hours and numerous hours of preparation and effort. It is not necessary to have prior construction experience to participate. You can volunteer on the construction site, at the ReStore, in the Habitat office, at special events, or as a board or committee member. Here are some tips on how to help build a Habitat home.
Habitat for Humanity has assisted almost 600,000 people in starting new lives. You can join as a volunteer at Habitat by selecting one of their other opportunities. However, you should keep in mind that only volunteers aged 16 and up are authorized on construction sites. People who are 14 years old or older can volunteer in the ReStore.
The organization also does not accept walk-in volunteers. All volunteers must plan their activities with the Volunteer Coordinator. Also, Habitat for Humanity ensures that everyone who works with them has a positive and satisfying experience, so they attempt to plan ahead of time to prevent overcrowding or misunderstandings.
If you want to participate, they have many volunteer opportunities, including relocating houses, repairing them, and increasing awareness of human rights issues connected to housing worldwide.
You could also help in building a Habitat Home by donating. The organization supports future homeowners to become financially stable and prepared to take on the responsibilities of financing an inexpensive, interest-free mortgage, thanks to your contributions and donation.
Additionally, you could greatly impact the families by giving planned gifts. A planned gift of any kind and amount qualifies you for membership in the Legacy Giving Society of Humanity for Habitat. Some planned gift examples are the following:
- You can transfer ownership of stock or mutual funds to Dorchester Habitat for Humanity or their other affiliates.
- Transfer real estate titles.
- Gifts of Life Insurance.
- Gifts of Cash.
Shop at ReStore
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a wonderful location to buy locally while also helping your community. They dedicate all their profits to the construction of homes and the improvement of the communities. Every dollar spent at ReStore or donation sites makes changes in people’s lives of those who live in shelters, homes, and communities throughout the world.
In addition, ReStore has monthly auctions. They feature a different theme every month. You can bid on high-value collector pieces, antiques, and artworks at cheaper prices at the ReStore on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Just sign up for a bidding number at the cashier.
9 Steps in Building a Habitat Home
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that provides safe and decent housing. Here are the 9 steps in building a Habitat Home that the workers and volunteers do for the families.
1. Find a Property
The organization finds properties in three different ways:
- By contacting towns and municipalities to discover what sites they have allotted for affordable housing. Or looking for a developer, such as Habitat for Humanity, to partner with, sell to, or deed to establish an affordable building.
- From a land owner wanting to sell to a contractor who may encounter development limitations that make it impossible to use the property.
- Conducting a study in a three-county service region to identify suitable and viable properties for Habitat construction. Then, after finding a property, the organization starts a contract with the land owner. The contract establishes a time frame for us to research the property.
2. Research the Property
The development team will start researching the property and ensure it is a good and safe place for the Habitat homeowners. These include research steps like:
- Examining the classification of the sites to determine how big the development they can construct
- Finishing business and feasibility studies
- Conducting noise, traffic, and other relevant research
- Carrying out environmental testing and research
3. Receive Permissions and Approval
The development and design teams made up of architects and engineers, work on creating an initial set of plans known as the tentative map. They use this map to receive permission and gain the city and government approval. Generally, this procedure can take up to two years.
4. Pull Building Permits
During this period, the team finalized the building plans and communicated with the city to respond to criticisms and change the blueprints to the final construction phase. After the plans are approved, the team can begin the construction.
5. Pre-construction Work
Building construction starts with any necessary leveling and grading of the site. In this period, they also establish streets and sidewalks and ensure that all utilities are installed on-site to provide power, water, gas, and sewer service to the Habitat homeowners.
6. Building the Homes
Depending on the scale and scope of the project, this procedure can take up to six months to three years. It starts by pouring the foundation then the future homeowners participate in 500 hours of sweat labor with volunteers, accomplishing things like:
- Windows, siding, and roofing installation
- Plumbing and electrical installation
- And more
7. Home Visits with Homeowners
The property is move-in ready once the construction team receives the Certificate of Occupancy, and the team will do a home visit with the homeowners after.
8. Closing Process
The closing process means the homeowners sign their terms and conditions, finish their final paperwork, and are ready to move in within 30 to 60 days.
9. Move In
The Habitat residents settle into new homes and begin their new lives with a low monthly mortgage.
As a non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity’s main activities includes the following:
- Build disaster-resistant housing with local skills and materials so that local inhabitants can continue to develop on their own
- Responds to natural calamities while focusing on long-term recovery
- Build cheap homes and renovate existing ones whenever they can
- Installation of bathrooms and provide safe drinking water
If you are looking for a way to help and make a difference in your community, Habitat for Humanity might be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. They construct houses for families that do not have access to affordable housing. Also, they encourage families in the Dorchester community and beyond by collaborating with them to create simple, affordable houses.
To learn more about how you can get involved and impact your community, visit Dorchester Habitat For Humanity’s website today!