Shared from the 2/17/2019 American Press eEdition

Helping hands

Progress on latest Habitat for Humanity home with help from volunteers


Rick Hickman / American Press

This Habitat for Humanity Home on Gulf Street received a big boost Saturday from volunteer workers and is expected to be completed by late March.

“Saturdays are for service,” Morgan Smith said as he adjusted his hard hat and put on a pair of leather work gloves.

Smith was among more than two dozen volunteers Saturday forgoing the damp weather to help install insulation and sheetrock for Habitat for Humanity’s latest home under construction on Gulf Street.

“Any time you can put a smile on somebody’s face or change their life, I try and get in and help as much as I can,” said the McNeese State University senior, who graduates in May with a degree in sports performance management.

Ralph Wilson, who serves as board president of Habit for Humanity Calcasieu Area Inc., said the home has been under construction for about two months and is nearing the finishing line.

“We have a few more volunteers than I thought we were going to have, and it’s going quite well,” Williams said. “All of our needs were taken care of as far as materials, and all the volunteers have allowed us to make a lot of progress.”

Williams said Kingsley Building Solutions and Kel & Coe Contracting, who partnered with Habitat for Humanity on the project, have also “been a big help.”

“I just want to give back to the community, that’s my main thing,” Derrick Edwards of Kingsley Building Solutions said.

Williams said Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes around the world in partnership with families in need of a place to live. The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses.

“When the sheetrock is completed today, the next work day will involve painting,” he said.

“Once we get that done, we’ll bring out the family to take a look and go from there. We keep them abreast of the progress.”

McNeese freshman Machiah Edwards, who is majoring in chemical engineering, said this was his first time installing insulation.

“Today I’ve been helping with installing, picking up trash, breaking a few things, but I’ve had fun,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been pretty cool.”

Madeline Smith said she spent her morning cutting the insulation, getting it ready to be installed.

“It was a little easier than I thought it would be,” she said. “I thought I wouldn’t be able to do a lot, but I actually have.”

Williams said the Gulf Street home should be complete by late March.

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