If you’ve driven through Smithsburg recently, you might’ve seen several people building a special home.
Right outside The Point at Smithsburg Apartments, Habitat for Humanity has started their 8th Women Build House in Washington County. Habitat’s Women Build project started in 1991 and provides a place for women to learn critical skills needed to build a home or fix everyday problems around the house.
“Women end up being widows quite often or a single mom, so this empowers them to take ownership and to know they can do things for themselves,” said Crew Leader Becky Hein. “They don’t have to depend on someone else to do something for them all the time. I love the fact that women are teaching other women how to do things.”
The best part about the project is that no experience is necessary and it’s available across the United States. Men are more than welcome to join as a part of the training staff or even learn alongside the women. Women Build’s goal is to empower families with strength, stability and independence.
“There’s a lot of things I don’t know how to do so I’m going to learn,” said Women Build Participant Cheyanne Johnson. “If I don’t know how to do something I’ll call my brother and he’ll come over and help me.”
Many of the women volunteering said they wanted to become more independent.
“I just want to learn different tools here so when I get my own house I can just do it all by myself and not ask for any help,” said Women Build Participant Michelle Keller. “I ask for a lot of help, just like simple things put up pictures frames, cause if I do it too hard it goes through the wall.”
If you’re interested in a Habitat Women Build house, keep in mind that there are several requirements that must be met to be a homeowner.
The homeowner has to be able to afford the mortgage and must have served 200 volunteer hours with Habitat. 100 of those hours has to be on a housing job site. Also, the volunteer has to enroll and pass several classes through Habitat for Humanity.