AP NEWS

Habitat women team up for women

May 10, 2019

A Beaumont mother soon will be the recipient of a new Habitat for Humanity house, built in part by women during the organization’s four-day Mother’s Day event.

Women’s Build, now in its 10th year, began Wednesday and ends Saturday.

“The point of Women Build day is to bring awareness to the women in the construction field,” said Sandee Wagner, affiliate manager of Habitat for Humanity of Jefferson County. “We do this annually around Mother’s Day to shine a light on the fact that the majority of the homeowners we get are women.”

About 10 women filtered through 1,200 square-foot Fillmore Street structure this week, prepping drywall inside the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.

The house, expected to be complete by the end of summer, is one of up to 11 that will be built on a nearly three-acre plot of land donated to the charity organization by the city of Beaumont.

“These are starter homes for a family who would otherwise not be able to get a conventional home,” Wagner said. “They are for people who make less than 80 percent of the area median income.”

The median household income in Jefferson County was $46,315 from 2013 to 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“That actually sounds like a lot but if you make 80 percent of that and have four kids, then homeownership is completely out of reach,” Wagner said.

The local Habitat group is the sixth-oldest in the U

.S., according to the organization’s website. Incorporated in 1979, the Jefferson County affiliate receives about 250 applications each year and has built more than 120 homes.

“It is important to give back to a community that gives so much to you,” volunteer Sharon Dovier-Davis said Wednesday. “There are millions of women across the nation that are single mothers and need a stable and safe home environment for themselves and their children.”

Recipients have four floor plans to choose from, and must complete 300 hours of “sweat equity” by helping with the construction of other homes.

“It’s so rewarding to help someone else get a home,” volunteer Carla Allen said. “It makes me feel good to do something for others. I drive past the houses that I have helped build, and I go, ‘Oh look, there’s that home and there’s the family in the home,’ and that is so rewarding.”

erica.apodaca@beaumontenterprise.com

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