Habitat for Humanity building new home in Bay St. Louis, first in two years
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - Habitat for Humanity Bay-Waveland is building its first home in two years.
Construction is underway at a property on Seal Boulevard in Bay St. Louis. Crews are comprised of mostly volunteers. They work three days a week from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
”[We are] a volunteer driven nonprofit,” said volunteer coordinator Zach Smith. “We rely on the community to come do stuff like our wonderful volunteers out here today.”
This home will be the first to be built since Hurricane Zeta wreaked havoc on South Mississippi in October 2020.
”We’ve been doing a lot of critical home repairs after [Hurricane] Zeta. People lost their roofs and had damage. What we had been doing was focusing on that. We’re still doing that, but we’re focusing more on building new homes,” Smith said.
So far, the crew built a foundation and are working on getting the walls up. On the job site Tuesday was a wide range of experience, including a green horn who is learning on the job.
”The people that I’m working with are just great,” said volunteer Judy McGowan. “They’re very patient to explain things to me. It’s my first day, and although I didn’t think I’d be doing any heavy machinery, I’ve been doing the nail gun all day. I was terrified at first but they made it seem like it was easy, and it really was.”
It can take five months to finish the build. That’s a lot of time to dedicate to a volunteer job, but the crew said the payoff is greater than the cost.
”It’s a sense of satisfaction to know that our volunteers and me and Glen and everyone at Habitat, we’ve built them a home. That’s their home. They own it, and they’ve moved on. They’ve had that hand up to be able to save and just have that feeling of security that comes with home ownership,” Smith said.
”There’s a lot of people like me that are retired and looking for things to do,” McGowan said. “Here’s some exercise in the nice air with great people and it’s for a great cause. It’ll bring purpose to my life that I’ve been looking for and it’ll help people too.”
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