Sixty-four families in Regina will have new homes in the next few years thanks to a Habitat for Humanity build, and a group of women are going to play a big part in that.
Habitat is looking for volunteers for its 200K Women Building Hopes and Homes initiative. It wants to get at least 200 women involved in builds in the city.
Tami Wall, Premier Brad Wall’s wife, is a big proponent of the project, and has been helping out with Habitat builds for years. She said she first got into it after she saw a documentary about Habitat’s work in the US.
“I thought ‘this looks awesome, I’d really like to do that.'”
Since then she’s done builds all across the province, and had a great time doing it.
“We were singing and telling jokes and bugging our foreman,” Wall said about her first build.
She said the program will take people and groups with any skill level, and teach them how to do the work on the site.
“(When you work on the homes) you have a better appreciation of where your money is going and what you’re doing for it and how it actually affects the people who are getting the houses.”
Wall said you can also take something away from the experience, because you learn how to do different things for yourself. She’s learned how to use power tools, and how to shingle a house.
She said the builds are very rewarding.
“You work really hard. I takes a lot of man-hours to put into a property and when it’s done and you know it’s going to last for another 30 to 50 to 100 years for a family to use, and then seeing that family move.”
Sometimes, Wall said you can meet the families who are getting the homes, as they have to put in so many hours themselves. She admitted she can get emotional on those occasions.
“They’re putting the work out, effort out, but the fact that people are taking time to come and work on their house and making it a reality for them is fabulous … I remember there was one mom who was hoping she could move in a Christmas time and so her kids were just so excited, and she was hoping to have Christmas Day in their new place.”
The project they’re working on now is an entire block in the Eastview neighbourhood that will be covered in town homes, some of the money for which was raised by the 200K Women initiative last year. The first phase will be finished later this year and families will get to move in. The second phase will start in the fall.
The 200K Women initiative for 2016 is still looking for volunteers. The organization hopes to have at least 200 by its June 10 celebration dinner. All the women involved will donate $1,000 to raise $200,000 to build the homes.