Monday, May 19, 2008

Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity, Day 2

Very early Monday morning, busses began shuttling volunteers to the various work sites. Some people were constructing new frames for houses, working near the historic Biloxi lighthouse; others were rehabbing houses in various cities around Biloxi; the majority of the volunteers were building new houses up and down the Gulf Coast. Our group from Habitat for Humanity East Bay worked on a new house in Pascagoula, MS. It's one of of 20 houses being built in Pascagoula as part of the Carter Work Project. We started Monday morning with a foundation and a pile of pre-framed walls. Because of the risk of flooding shown by the 2005 hurricanes, the new flood plain data means the foundation was about 5' tall. Most of the existing houses in the neighborhood sit barely 1' up, sometimes less. After a bit of figuring out where things were and the experience levels of different people, we got to work and fairly quickly had some of the exterior walls standing. We had a variety of people working on the house. Besides our group from HFH East Bay, there were a number of young people who work for the Knight Foundation (the biggest sponsor of the 2008 Carter Work Project), several people who work for Habitat for Humanity International, and individuals from all over the country. The house leader for #17 was Frank, a building inspector in Michigan. The assistant house leader was Gregg, who works for the host affiliate for the Carter Work Project, Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (HFHMGC). We were also fortunate to have Tom, a contractor from New York. He's served as a house leader on past Carter Work Projects.The Carter Work Project goes at an accelerated pace, and Frank and Gregg were feeling the pressure to try to keep up with the aggressive schedule. So a bunch of us stayed late to get the last roof trusses installed. By the end of a late day on Monday, we had all the walls standing and the roof trusses installed. It was a tiring day for all of us, but especially for those of us on Pacific Daylight Time.

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