Always grateful for the opportunity to pick up a hammer 🔨(or a nail gun 🔫) to help build affordable housing on the weekend.
But what you don't see in this picture is the person holding my ladder, whose house we are building. She's out there alongside the rest of the volunteers on her weekend, sweating and working. She works a full time job just like the rest of us, but part of getting a Habitat house is putting in sweat equity. Homeowners have to put in 250 hours of their own time to build their house. I am always amazed at how the single moms working full time jobs are able to put in all the sweat equity hours. I think the only way it's even possible is because of the support system behind them, their family that helps support them by watching their kids while they sweat it out on the build site.
So when I volunteered with Habitat this time, there weren't that many people to show up to build that day, but the trusses were set to be delivered the following week, which meant we needed to put up as many pieces of plywood as possible (aka the entire house) so that it would be secure and ready for trusses to be installed on a solid surface wall. Also, it's much easier to nail off the top of the plywood without trusses in your way. So Terry broke out the nail gun so we could nail off the entire house. I was reluctant to use the nail gun as much as I did, not because I was scared or anything, but because it completely throws off the timeline of how long it takes to build a house.
I am always torn between the uses of such devices when it comes to building with Habitat, not because of safety, although that is completely a reason most are worried, but I was very careful to ensure no one was ever behind the plywood where I was nailing just in case. The reason I am always torn is that, yes you want to build the housing as fast as possible so the homeowner can move in and get to living life, but then on the other end, the affiliate has to build to a timeline that meets the needs of the entire organization, there has to be enough money in the cash flow projections at the right time, and there have to be enough qualified families in the 'pipeline' at the same time as well. It's a delicate balance of productivity and timing. Nonethless, I always love the opportunity to go out and build on framing day, whether it's with a nail gun or a hammer.
"What the poor need is not charity 💸, but capital🏦; not caseworkers📋, but co-workers🛠." -Millard Fuller, Founder of Habitat for Humanity International