Last week I had the pleasure of participating in my very first Women Build with the Windy City Habitat for Humanity. It was both a pleasure and an honor to work on the home of a single female head of household who will also be my neighbor. Ms. Robinson (pictured right smack dab in the middle of all of that hot pink) is such an awesome woman and she keeps me in stitches each and every single time I’m around her. While this photo doesn’t represent the first day – it does represent the culmination of the four days of building that I participated in, and the fact that I was a little slap happy by Saturday.
Women build is Habitat for Humanity’s program for women who want to learn construction skills and build homes and communities. This program brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of women and children worldwide. No experience is necessary! Specifically with Chicago Women Build,Windy City Habitat chose to focus on the home of a single female head of household. This isn’t to say that she’s not capable of building herself (as a mater of fact, Ms. Robinson finished ALL 500 hours of sweat equity already!) but to empower women to be able to use the tools and processes that have been male driven for so long.
When we arrived on the first day, we were greeted with a big hole in the ground that had the foundation laid. No walls, nothing. So we got to work. With our site supervisors, Jeff, Derek, and Derek (yes two Derek’s) we were able to put up the outside walls, and a little bit more. It was hard work too, with it being a little over 90 degrees and then a MONSOON coming through. The walls had already been built at Raise Your Hand Chicagoland and were ready to go when we arrived.
We were joined by Kitchen Crasher, Alison Victoria and Chicago’s own Brittney Payton for the day. Alison showed us just why she is great at what she does, and Brittney kept the left side of the home as the STRONG SIDE as they installed wall frames around the perimeter. We were also joined by several other groups of women that helped give us a strong start for the four-day build. It was absolutely magnificent.
By the time we left, I was confident that we could at least get the bottom floor done and set by the time Saturday came around. Would we make it? Check back tomorrow to see Day 2 and what else we got accomplished. Until then, you can check out the photos from the days on Windy City Habitat’s Facebook Page, Instagram, or Twitter