Local Habitat for Humanity back to work after pandemic halts builds

WAKEFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) – It’s been a long nine months, but South County Habitat for Humanity is finally finishing up construction on a home in Wakefield.

“We took a three month break in the middle but we’re fortunate to have our volunteers back at work,” says Executive Director Colin Penney.

The non-profit is celebrating thirty years rehabbing or rebuilding 100 homes. But it had to halt this latest build in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Its revenue-generating thrift store was forced to shut down, losing the organization nearly $150,000.

But volunteer builders like Ross Balding are back to work. “Buying materials has been an issue as well as not being able to have people out here to build,” Balding says.

“We’ve started to build with small groups, groups of 5, [and] bigger restrictions, it’s made it a lot harder obviously with the masks working outside and tool-sharing, disinfecting all the tools and everything like that,” he says.

Despite Habitat’s financial hardships volunteers are doing their best to abide by restrictions and continue to do their work building and rehabbing homes, as they predict even more families will be in need of affordable housing during this pandemic.

To learn more about South County Habitat for Humanity, click here.  http://www.southcountyhabitat.org/

 

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Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island