Abundant sunshine. Check.
Clear, blue sky. Check.
78 degrees. Check.
Habitat For Humanity building a house on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue…Wait! What??
That’s right folks! I was busy soaking in this gorgeous day in downtown Chicago when there I saw the most extraordinary thing I might see all Summer. Nestled in the shadows of the famed Chicago Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue, along the Chicago River, Chicagoland Habitat For Humanity was hammering away at some single family homes.
Wow! Talk about stepping up advertising efforts…
This city-sidewalk, house-building demonstration is part of Habitat’s “RAISE YOUR HAND CHICAGOLAND” event. Their goal is to build 13 homes for 13 families in 4 days! Habitat partners with community agencies, corporate sponsors and volunteers to help deserving and hardworking families get the “hand up” they need to enjoy affordable homes. Also, the lucky family members participate in the house-building effort along side the other volunteers. Additionally, in order to qualify for the home, they must complete 200-500 hours of “sweat equity” by volunteering in the community for Habitat for Humanity.
Big name corporations such as Whirlpool donate quality appliances to these homes which are also energy-efficient and low-maintenance for the owners. Habitat offers interest-free mortgages as well as financial programs which teach the families about responsible homeownership.
I have always wanted to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and I have been aware of their global efforts for most of my life. However, this is first time they have taken to the busy streets of downtown Chicago (or any major city that I know of) to demonstrate exactly how they build a house and to answer any questions passersby may have. Fascinating!
I toured one featured house today which is a 1,200 square foot, ranch-style floor plan with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The house is not intended to be completed here. Rather, it will be dismantled after Sunday. The walls and other materials will be transported back to the suburban neighborhood of its intended family, re-assembled and completed there.
If you live in the Chicago-area and happen to be downtown, I strongly recommend you stop by and pay the hard-working folks at Habitat for Humanity and their local corporate partners, sponsors and volunteers a visit as they continue to demonstrate their house-building efforts through Sunday.
ROAM. REVEL. REPEAT.