Members of Bethel Lutheran Church in Auburn, and Zion Lutheran Church in Worcester, gathered on Homestead Ave. last Saturday to build a house. Well, to help build a house, anyway.
Homestead Avenue is a quiet side street between Bryn Mawr and Oxford St., close to Bethel Lutheran Church. Last October, number, 4 Homestead was an empty, dusty, weed-strewn lot. Today, there stands the frame of a new duplex that that holds a lifetime of promise for two families, and for the neighborhood.
Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester is overseeing the build, with the help of many community volunteers as well as from the families who will ultimately own the home.
Early on Saturday, May 21, P.J. Breen, Habitat Site Supervisor, was briefing about 14 church volunteers who would spend the day working inside the home.
“We have had a lot of groups” said Breen. “I’m not sure exactly how many, but a lot.”
Breen also commented that the two families who will own the home have been “super active” on the site. “We started [building] around the beginning of the year, and we expect to finish by the end of this year.”
Under the Habitat for Humanity program, the prospective owners must go through a selection process, financial and home ownership workshops, must contribute 400-500 hours of “sweat equity” into building the home, and must carry the mortgage, though Habitat provides 0% financing on the loan. Numerous community partners make this program work, including Bank of America, Thrivent Financial, Wood Pro, Gary Pike Construction, Dauphinais Concrete, and Southbridge Savings Bank.
There are a number of volunteers who work regularly on the house, called “regular volunteers”, and the numerous community groups who serve as part time volunteers support the regulars. When work began, according to Breen, the project was on a 2 day a week schedule. Now it is up to a 4 day a week schedule.
Groups or individuals interested in volunteering or donating can call volunteer coordinator, Molly Pietrantonio at (508) 799-9259 x 113.