Economic Development

Habitat, Lowe’s Team Up for National Women Build Week

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – This is National Women Build Week, created by Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program to challenge women to help build affordable housing in their communities. Locally, projects are in the works involving Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County.

“Women Build is one of my favorite events of the year because it gives us ladies the chance to show that we too can be fantastic home builders,” said Monica Craven, executive director.

Youngstown and Warren locations are targeted for the volunteer build dates today and Saturday, and more than 100 volunteers are signed up to participate. The first build date took place Saturday. A fundraiser took place last night at Magic Tree Pub & Eatery, Craven noted.

“The YWCA of Youngstown is proud to have a large group of volunteers committed to helping build a home in our community, “ a spokeswoman for the organization said. “Housing with Supportive Services is the major program the YWCA offers, and we see the need for additional housing in our area. We’re excited to partner with like-minded people to help fill this need.”

In 2008, Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week and each year provides the support and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills. This year, Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million and has committed more than $63 million to Habitat since 2003, helping more than 4,000 families improve their living conditions.

“National Women Build Week has made a difference in the lives of thousands of families since its inception,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We’re grateful to all the women in Mahoning and Trumbull counties who are getting involved this week and are a part of something bigger with Lowe’s and Habitat.”

Habitat Mahoning County was founded in 1989. Since then, the organization has built or rehabilitated 44 homes locally. Habitat builds houses for qualified low-income families and sells them at no profit, with affordable mortgage payments, and 0% interest. All families are required to contribute 300 to 400 hours of sweat equity and attend homeowner classes. Habitat gives nothing away except the opportunity to be a homeowner, Craven said.

Since Habitat’s Women Build program was created in 1998, more than 2,300 homes have been built in partnership with low-income families using Women Build crews. More than 300 Habitat affiliates are hosting National Women Build Week activities this week.

Pictured: Local volunteers participate May 2 in National Women Build Week, the first of three events this week.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.