Habitat for Humanity Builds On Despite Snow Challenges
Cold doesn’t keep volunteers away
ANCHORAGE - Habitat for Humanity depends on volunteers year-round to build homes for people in need. The heavy snow load this winter made construction more difficult and expensive and the extreme cold kept some volunteers away.
But not Joni Jones. She’s working toward her American dream: Owning a home.
“I can't imagine having a place of my own where I’m safe and no one can raise my rent. A home where there’s no cockroaches,” said Jones.
Despite her physical disabilities, Joni pushed on through the harsh winter. Through Habitat for Humanity she’s earning her mortgage one hour at a time.
“We've keep working every day, it's been as cold as 12-below, I've been out here working volunteers, we're not going to let anything stop us,” said Jones.
While near record-breaking snowfall didn’t stop volunteers from coming out, it sure slowed them down.
“People are discouraged by cold weather and rightfully so. It's not easy to work outdoors in this kind of weather,” said Harry Ricker, Habitat for Humanity’s construction manager.
Thanks to Mother Nature the seven homes in the first phase of HFH’s Oklahoma Commons Neighborhood are two months behind schedule and ten percent over budget.
“We've had to rent some equipment to move snow around. We're also having to heat the buildings to work in the wintertime and it has been a cold winter and so it's required a lot more diesel fuel and propane to keep the buildings workable,” said Ricker.
Construction won’t be completed for a couple of months, which gives Joni more time to plan.
“I want a yellow kitchen and I want my bedroom to be blue.”
She’ll share the two-bedroom home with her older brother. Not only will they have an amazing view of the mountains, there’s also a closet for a washer and dryer and an indoor garage.
“It's so much more than I ever wanted. I would have been happy with a one bedroom, one bath and this is, so much more,” said Jones.
While she’ll have to wait a while longer Joni says it’s worth the extra months of work to have her life-long dream fulfilled.
Her house and the rest of the homes in the first phase should be finished by May. Habitat for Humanity will build another 16 homes in the area over the next two years.