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Women build coming soon

Habitat for Humanity event

Marquette County Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build is scheduled for Aug. 5-7 with volunteers needed. From left are Cindy Noble, MCHFH affiliate support manager, and Build participants Tommy, Jane and Jon Hodge. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

HARVEY — People can give families a “hand up” this summer by helping them build their homes.

Marquette County Habitat for Humanity will hold its annual Women Build event from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 5-7 to provide residential housing in the region.

The goal is to provide safe and affordable housing for local families, said Cindy Noble, affiliate support manager for MCHFH.

“We do that through a variety of ways and means,” Noble said. “Our volunteers are really kind of the backbone of what we do and what we can do for others, including our home repairs program. So, we not only try and build a home or two every season, every year, but we also are working on multiple repair projects at the same time.”

Noble said MCHFH is planning two builds this summer: a home for two adults and a child in Ishpeming and another for an adult and two kids in Marquette, with Women Build participants working on one or both of those homes.

Last summer’s Women Build event of a Gwinn house was a success, she said, with siding and drywall part of the activity.

“Despite COVID and everything, we were very lucky to be able to kind of squeeze in the Women Build with masks or precautions, but we were mostly outside, which was nice,” Noble said.

The name notwithstanding, the Women Build can involve women and men as well as individuals age 16 and older.

“It is called Women Build to help foster those skills, which haven’t always necessarily been encouraged in the past,” said Noble, who pointed out that the trades typically have been dominated by males.

She pointed out that no experience is necessary to take part in Women Build, with a construction supervisor on site to guide the participants and provide safety measures.

Daily speakers are expected to include Anne Giroux, executive director of the Marquette County Land Bank Authority; Audrey Watson, title processor for Great Northern Title & Abstract; and Hanna Westra, marketing specialist for Range Bank.

Women Build could have a particular importance this year.

“There’s this housing crisis right now in Marquette, and it’s affecting everybody,” Noble said.

For instance, she said a scenario involves people who are trying to find a home but are not placing the winning bid because someone buys the home with $20,000 in cash over the asking price.

The prospective owners of a Habitat house, though, have to undergo a lengthy process. Noble said each adult whose name is on the mortgage must put in 250 hours of sweat equity on the home.

“They really have to put in a lot of work and thought and effort … they’re going to get in this sweat equity and this time on the home to help build it,” Noble said.

These individuals, though, can get in some hours by helping to deliver lunches on Fridays and other activities, she said.

Excavation on the Ishpeming home is expected to begin in a few weeks, according to Noble, and the hope is that work on the Marquette home will start in July.

The owners of the Ishpeming home will be the Hodges: Jon, Jane and Tommy.

“It will be nice because then you can say, ‘I helped build that home,'” Jane Hodge said.

Jon Hodge didn’t express too much concern over construction supervision.

“If they show me stuff once or twice, I can get it,” he said.

Registration is open and runs through July 31. To register, visit https:// mqthabitat.org/volunteer-opportunities/womens-build/ or call 906-228-3578.

The donation fee is $35 per individual, $150 for a family of five or six people and $200 for teams of seven or eight people.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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