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Building Communities with HBI

Everyone knows that Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes for low to moderate income families who qualify to purchase them, but many aren’t aware that we are more than just building homes, we also help build communities. Habitat for Humanity believes by helping provide to affordable housing we can improve neighborhoods and communities by strengthening the community bonds; increasing the tax base; and building better people through the volunteers helping build the homes.

HabitatSHR strives to do more in our community in addition to building and rehabbing homes, we also offer monthly home owner readiness classes through our Home Buyers Club to potential home buyers in our program and to members of the community. We have also recently partnered with Home Builders Institute (HBI) to provide their students with hands-on real life building experience. Due of the challenges we experience finding qualified sub-contractors because of a nationwide labor shortage, here at HabitatSHR, we felt we should do our part to help train future tradespeople and encourage others to consider choosing a career in the construction industry. Partnering with HBI is one way we can help in our area.

HBI’s Norfolk program partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to provide trades training to transitioning military members, spouses and veterans. Their Military and Veterans Program provides a 12 week, no-cost training in the construction trades with Pre-Apprenticeship Certification Training and job placement. HabitatSHR is very proud to be providing HBI’s students with actual experience working alongside our Construction Manager, Mike Moranha, who has more than 30 years’ construction experience, including overseeing a similar training program in the past.

HBI’s third class of students have been on the build site at Stonehurst from the start of the build, and have so far learned about framing, siding and trim work. Student, David Corley, feels that the partnership between HabitatSHR and HBI has helped teach him the building process far better than classroom work would have ever taught him. He also appreciated that not only was he learning the trade, but the product of his training would go to also benefit a family in need of affordable housing. Zach Moore, appreciates the knowledge he is gaining working alongside Mike and our experienced Red Hats. Zach said just their familiarity of the various components of the house made him want to learn what the names of every part of the house were. Zach said he often goes home with a list of terms to look up so he can communicate with Mike and the Red Hats with a better understanding of what they were speaking about to him.

Steve Kelly, HBI’s Regional Career Development Coordinator, said, “Our students have consistently expressed their satisfaction with your program regarding worksite training and experience gained while working with Habitat for Humanity. Our curriculum and your phases of construction “dovetail” perfectly with our goal of ensuring that students receive the best training we have to offer.” We are happy to continue this partnership with HBI and know that this partnership will be beneficial to both our organizations.

You can do your part helping in our community as well, by making a donation to help us continue to build affordable houses for qualifying home buyers, while also providing real life building experience to our transitioning military which will help produce more trained trades people working within our community by clicking on this link here.



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