Saturday, October 29th, volunteers from the Institute, under the leadership of Faith Loggers-Jamnik and Merle Greene, spent the day working on a Habitat for Humanity house on Clarence Street in St. Paul.
The sky was overcast, temperature didn’t rise above 60, and we were rained out by 3:15 p.m. when work was halted for an early clean up.
Our hardy volunteers were separated into several teams. One team measured, cut, (sometimes re-measured and re-cut) and installed siding on the south side of the home. This work was complicated by the need to cut boards to fit around the windows and by working on scaffolding – often positioned exactly where the nail gun had to be used to secure the board to the wall. Fortunately, the team completed all the siding on that side of the house.
Two more teams installed sheet rock on the ceiling in two rooms in the first floor. This required careful measuring to cut out holes for ceiling lights and align the sheet rock with the ceiling joists. The whining of drills could be heard frequently as the sheet rock screws secured the panels to the joists.
Another team was active on special projects assigned by Melissa, our Habitat site supervisor. They worked on insulation on the walls of first and second floor and making sure the plastic sheets covered the insulation properly, prepared the walls for the city inspector visit on the following Tuesday.
Melissa transformed our lunch break into a learning opportunity. Habitat for Humanity has a great educational curriculum that illustrates the impact that stable housing has on families and how stable housing has the greatest Return On Investment for the community.
Melissa was very pleased with all that was accomplished by the crew – exceeding her expectations for the day and was very enthusiastic when inviting the team to return on another Saturday for more work. In addition, some of us learned some new techniques for our own home projects – or in my case, what not to do…
The experience was also enriched by meeting and working alongside a young couple putting in their sweat equity before they can move into their home in another part of town.