A group of Edmonton ladies can rest easy this weekend knowing their hard work will result in a new Habitat for Humanity home for a family in need.
About 150 of them participated in this year’s Women Build, each raising $1,000 for the charity, collectively enough to build a new home in the city.
Participants also spent a full day building fence sections, sheds, picnic tables and other pre-fabricated home construction elements for current Habitat for Humanity projects.
“It’s a fabulous and empowering experience for women to come together with other women and build for families,” said Karen Stone, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton.
Watch below: A group of women, including Global’s Quinn Ohler, came together Tuesday to help build homes for local families, part of the 2019 Habitat for Humanity Women Build.
The experience also teaches women in Edmonton about the work Habitat for Humanity does each year.
“The idea is to spread the word, spread understanding and get people committed to building community together.”
Karla Billey participated in two days of the build, raising $1,000 each day. Billey said it was an easy decision to commit her time both building and fundraising for the cause.
“Home is where the heart is,” Billey said, “and if you don’t have a good stable home, you can’t bring up the next generation and we really need to support that.”
Toni Lasell received the keys to her Habitat home six weeks ago. The program allows Lasell to pay off her down payment with sweat equity by working in the pre-fabrication shop, and attending classes on personal finance and home maintenance.
Habitat for Humanity ensures no more than 25 per cent of her income is used on mortgage payments, and essentially holds those payments in trust for when she is ready to sell.
“It was a dream come true,” said the single mother. “I could never have imagined being a homeowner and providing a beautiful home for my children.”
Habitat for Humanity plans on handing over keys to at least 50 homes like Lasell’s in 2019, but says demand is high. The last two homes they had available saw 136 eligible applications.
“We have a great deal of need,” said the Habitat CEO. “We have more children in under-housed situations and we have to escalate our efforts to build more houses and get more families into home ownership.”