What is Women Build?
• A Habitat for Humanity International program whose mission is to recruit, educate and nurture women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities.
• In partnership with Lowe's, the program puts tools into women's hands to fight poverty housing.
• Women from all walks of life work together to build a Habitat for Humanity home.
Why Women Build?
• The program empowers women and builds self-esteem by teaching them construction skills and allowing them to help other women become homeowners.
• Women Build challenges women to actively address the problem of substandard housing and to be part of the solution.
• It provides an environment in which women can feel comfortable learning skills they might not otherwise have the opportunity to acquire.
• More than 60 percent of Habitat houses are built with women heads of household. By receiving training as part of the build, they are better equipped to maintain their homes and, consequently, are more confident in their ability to cope with day-to-day situations.
Is Women Build new?
• Locally, this is the first time Habitat Kent is offering the Women Build program where from start to finish women are encouraged to take the lead on construction.
• More than 1,900 Habitat Women Build homes have been built in the U.S. and 30 other countries since 1998.
• In previous years, Habitat Kent participated in National Women Build Week during which women are encouraged to help build a house already under construction.
What's the 2012 Women Build?
• A house is being built at 307 Robey Place SE in the Wealthy Heights neighborhood.
• The Habitat Kent Women Build Steering Committee kicked off the construction project in mid-November.
• Construction will continue through the winter and is expected to be completed Mother's Day weekend in May.
• The homebuyer is working alongside volunteers on the construction of the house. She is looking forward to living in a safe and lead-free house after her young daughter was hospitalized for lead poisoning.
• The house is made possible by a major sponsorship from Lowe's as well as HOME funds through the City of Grand Rapids and Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
What's the Women Build Steering Committee?
• The Steering Committee is comprised of women leaders from the local business, government, media and nonprofit communities. The group is led by Julie Towner, chief financial officer at Rockford Construction and a Habitat Kent board member.
• The 19-member committee is recruiting volunteers to help build the house, raising money for Women Build and promoting the program in the community.
Does Women Build exclude men?
• Women Build does not exclude anyone. It's about including women and opening doors of opportunity.
• Men are involved in Women Build training programs and build projects in supportive roles and as subcontractors when needed.
How can I get involved in Women Build?
• Volunteers are needed on the job site. Check out the schedule at KentCountyHabitat.VolunteerHub.com.
• Donated construction materials are appreciated. Contact Roger Peterman at 616-588-5223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Financial gifts also are appreciated. To donate online, visit HabitatKent.org/WomenBuild or mail your donation to Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, 425 Pleasant St. SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503-4925.
• Check out the Habitat Kent Women Build Facebook page, Like it and share it with friends and family: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Women-Build-Habitat-for-Humanity-Kent
How can I purchase a Women Build T-shirt?
• Women Build T-shirts are available during volunteer work days at the job site (307 Robey Place SE) and at Habitat Kent's offices (425 Pleasant St. SW) 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• T-shirts are $20 each and available in sizes small to 3XL.
• Cash and check payments are accepted. Make checks payable to Habitat for Humanity of Kent County.
• Proceeds go toward Habitat Kent's Women Build program.
About Habitat Kent
• Established in 1983, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County is serving God, building hope and transforming lives through neighborhood revitalization and homeownership for families who otherwise could not afford a home of their own.
• Habitat Kent has helped more than 350 families turn their dreams of home ownership into reality and has lifted more than 1,000 children out of substandard housing.
• For more information, visit www.HabitatKent.org or call 616-774-2431.