Helped Build Homes For Habitat For Humanity

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"What we call real estate - the solid ground to build a house on - is the broad foundation on which nearly all the guilt of this world rests."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

I had always been interested in volunteering for
Habitat for Humanity before but hadn't researched it at all or taken the time to find out where I can go to help. If I had known how easy it was, I would've done it a long time ago. Anyone can sign up to volunteer for a day at the link here.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization "founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live." They build affordable housing for low income families around the world. There are Habitat affiliates all over the place, and I was lucky enough to work with the one representing
Greater San Francisco.

The property I volunteered at today is a 36 condominium complex on Mission Street in Daly City. To qualify to buy one of these properties, which are offered at a fairly reduced price, a family has to make around 40-60% of the median salary in the area (here, it's about $25,000-$33,000 for a family of four). After the organization looks at their need based on current living conditions and credit, the family is then offered an interest free loan to buy a condo, provided they also complete 500 work hours on the site.
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There were a ton if visitors today. Some came as groups and some came as individuals.
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There were several different tasks we could volunteer for, but I ended up choosing to help with some of the roofing. After we met our project manager for the day, James, we went up to the top floor of the complex.
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When we got up to the top, we were assigned different projects. The first one I was assigned to was installing these blocks into the side of the roof.
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I also had to hammer the brackets to these pieces down.
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We basically worked on this until lunch time. In the afternoon, I helped install the trestles of the roof.
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I was on the top of the building balancing on two-by-fours.
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I was working hard, but I was still able to take the time to appreciate the view.
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The trestles looked pretty good after we had to call it a day at around 4 pm.
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I have to say that this was a pretty fun day. I worked hard and was pretty exhausted afterward, but I met some really nice people, learned how a roof was built, practiced a little balancing, got to use my strength, and felt great because I helped build shelter for at least a few low income families.

I definitely want to do this again, and if you're interested in doing it too, check out your
local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.
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