June 3, 2006
Starting Saturday, Habitat for Humanity will try to build 500 homes in a week across the United States, and six of them will be built right here in our community.
The effort is being called 'Builders Blitz 2006.'
Several people were doing their part early Saturday this morning, right here at home, making sure Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville could hammer away at the national goal by starting in the Fifeville neighborhood.
"The builders are donating the time of their crews, volunteers are donating their time, suppliers are donating building materials," said Overton McGehee, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville.
Nearly 200 professional home builders are setting the foundation to help low-income families. They are families who will soon own their first home thanks to 'Builders Blitz 2006'.
"I feel great actually! It's just astonishing to watch, and see this come together. The whole project is amazing," said Lanesia Poole, who will get one of the six homes.
Construction on Lanesia Poole's home and others will start at 7:00 a.m. and end at 7:00 p.m. every day over the next week. Contractors have been given a strict time schedule with goals to meet each minute they're on the site.
"They are just going like crazy. I've been helping out in going over some of the prints with them, making sure we get some of the things correct as we're moving along because it goes a little faster than normal when you're building a house in a week," said Hal Hurka, a builder with CrafTec Incorporated in Charlottesville.
Poole, already a mother of a 10-year-old boy and is expecting another son in a month, will get one of the habitat homes. She understands the hard work the builders are doing after volunteering herself throughout the Charlottesville community.
"You know, nothing is free, so you do work for it. It makes you appreciate it more," said Poole.
'Builder's Blitz' is a first for Habitat for Humanity.
Never before have so many home builders come together for a project like this.
"We're looking forward to the next blitz. We already have builders interested in participating with the next blitz," added McGehee.
It took a year and a half for Habitat for Humanity plan this launch of 'Builders Blitz 2006.' It should not take nearly as long the next time around since the community responded to it so well on Saturday. The only need for next year will be the volunteers since the organization knows what to expect.
The new homeowners will represent five countries. All of them were at the construction site meeting each other as they watched the builders create their new homes.