Students with LocalGlobal left the Hastings College parking lot at 7 a.m. the morning after May Fete to drive to Grand Island and aid in building a home for the Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity (Habitat). This was their fourth year helping Habitat.
The majority of the time was spent cutting and nailing in styrofoam panels around the house and placing plywood around the base of the roof. This is an improvement from last year when poor weather kept students inside the warehouse cleaning instead of working outside.
This house is unique in many ways as it is the fourth time LocalGlobal has helped the Grand Island Area Habitat; it is the 99th home that Habitat has built, and is larger than most homes. When these houses are built, they usually include three bedrooms, but since the family has four children, the decision was made to include four bedrooms.
The house is designated to Christina Terrazas. She was approved for a house last April, which is when she started logging hours with Habitat. As of May 4, Terrazas has logged 389 hours with Habitat. In order to receive a home from Habitat, a recipient must meet certain income requirements, live in the area for more than a year and log 500 sweat equity hours with Habitat. In addition, they must also be hardworking, have a willingness to pay for the house and have a need for a new living situation, according to Habitat’s website. Once completed, the family will pay an interest-free mortgage to Habitat. The money from the mortgage will then be used to fund more houses. Habitat is able to build about five houses a year.
After having worked with Habitat for over a year, it’s different for Terrazas to know she is working on her own home. She said that it’s hard to describe the emotions that are felt when the next house being built is her own, but it’s also exciting.
“Once you get to your house, it’s just like ‘oh my gosh.’ You don’t know what to expect,” said Terrazas.
Part of the reason for the difficulty explaining the emotions comes from the significance of what is happening; to Terrazas, this is her children’s future.
“This is going to be a house for my kids; it’s their future, so we are going to build our future in here. This is a huge impact for us because we are building it, not just buying it made,” Terrazas said. “We are making it so we are making our future as well.”
According to Brett Forsman, the site manager for the Terrazas house, a build will take, on average, 15 to 17 Saturdays of work, which all depends on the weather and the number of volunteers helping, among other things. When LocalGlobal helped with the build, it resulted