Habitat For Humanity International's motto is “A hand up, not a hand out.” Dozens of employees lent their hands - and hearts - in building BNP Media-sponsored House No. 20, one of 31 homes dedicated Friday, June 24, as part of HFHI's Jimmy Carter Work Project in Detroit's Core City/Thurgood Marshall neighborhood. The house is now the home of Efrain and Damaris Guevara and their five children.
“All aspects of this project were incredible,” said Tim Fausch, BNP Media Plumbing Group publishing director. “The Habitat organizers ran the project with great precision, our volunteers worked with amazing commitment, and the Gueveras represented the ideal family that everyone wanted to help.”
For volunteers, the Blitz Build provides an opportunity to serve others in a meaningful way. Most Habitat families have undergone hardship and are struggling with housing. Habitat is able to provide affordable housing because of donated labor, materials and funds.
The Detroit project employs a strategy called neighborhood infill. The strategy involves placing homes on vacant lots located in the same neighborhood, thus increasing the appearance and value of an entire area. To reinforce the infill strategy, a new playground was installed in the center of the neighborhood. In addition, Habitat is working with local groups to encourage grants and further investment in the neighborhood.
“It was an exhausting but very rewarding week,” said volunteer Donna Edwards of BNP Media's research department. “The memories and friendships made will stay with me always.”
On Friday, the final day of the build, the crew and family celebrated together with a ceremony that acknowledged everyone's contributions. The ceremony was concluded with the handing over of the home's keys to the Guevara family.