Last summer I reported on my other house. A 2007 Detroit HFH Blitz house.
Last week I headed down to Pascagoula Mississippi for the 2008 Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project.
Every year Habitat for Humanity leaders and volunteers worldwide descend upon one location on earth and blitz a number of houses in their efforts to eradicate the world of substandard housing, homelessness, and poverty. This year that location was the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The goal was building 30 brand new homes and 32 rehabilitated houses in one week.
I'm not a stranger to the JRCWP, as I spent a lot of 2004 and 2005 preparing in Detroit for the 2005 JCWP where I led a house and we built 30 new homes in Detroit.
It's a great event.
The week was intense. With an aggressive schedule and major oversights in preparation the immaturity of the affiliate became apparent. Low volunteer numbers, poorly orchestrated trades, short work days and bad weather compounded the problem.
We didn't finish the house, we didn't even get close.
But we persevered. I have been a 'house leader' on 8 blitz builds now and this was truly my most dedicated crew. For what they lacked in previous experience and technical ability they made up for in willingness, effort and sweat. It wasn't my fastest house, or my most pretty house but I truly believe it is my strongest house because of the love these people poured into it. I will not forget this crew anytime soon.
A special thanks to Dan my right hand man throughout the build. Dan, did you ever get that message to Lindsay?
As stressful as the week was I returned to the Motor City a little sore, with an awkward suntan, the satisfaction of good hard work, great memories of building, laughing late into the night and the feeling of unity that more people are going to be living in decent, safe, affordable homes.