HURLOCK — In spring 2016, Habitat for Humanity Choptank began construction on its first home in the Town of Hurlock. The one-story single family home is located at 408A Charles St. Hurlock resident Tynita Cummings, an employee with Caroline County Department of Social Services, is working through Habitat’s homeownership program toward the goal of buying the home with an affordable mortgage.
While steady progress has been made on the build, the nonprofit has relied mostly on construction volunteers from Talbot County to fill its weekly work schedule. To sustain a building program in North Dorchester, Habitat Choptank needs to grow a crew of local volunteers who will come out regularly to build, as has happened in the other communities where its affordable homeownership program can be found.
To learn more about volunteering in construction – as well on a variety of committees, at the ReStore and with special projects – Habitat Choptank is hosting a volunteer information session on April 8. Community members are invited to drop in between 9 – 11 a.m. at the Charles Street house.
“Our homes are built mostly by volunteers, both skilled and unskilled,” explains Wayne Suggs, Habitat Choptank’s director of construction. “Whether you are a contractor, an experienced do-it-yourselfer or have never picked up a hammer in your life, we can use your help.”
The regular build schedule for Hurlock will be every Tuesdays and the first Saturday of the month under the supervision of Habitat Choptank’s construction staff. Tools are provided on site. In addition to individual volunteers, small groups of 4-8 people from businesses, civic groups and churches are also welcome by advance arrangement.
On a Habitat build site, there are many tasks that require only a willingness to learn and work with others. “We make every effort to involve willing volunteers, both men and women, regardless of skill level,” Mr. Suggs notes. All volunteers on the construction site must be at least 16 years of age or older.
Construction volunteers help with most every aspect of the home building process. By working side-by-side with the individual or family who will buy the house, these volunteers experience for themselves the joy created when Habitat home buyers are able to realize their dream of home ownership.
Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 72 working households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build the stability, security and self-reliance that comes from buying a home with monthly mortgage that they can afford. Each homebuyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses. While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation homebuyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 2 percent foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 24-year history.
Currently, eight buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward purchasing homes under construction in Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton.
For information about homeownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.