Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity is building in Fayetteville with the help of the Fort Liberty Home Builders Institute (HBI) and support provided by The Home Depot Foundation.
Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity (FAHFH) staff, the current students of Fort Liberty’s (formerly Fort Bragg) HBI class, and the future Habitat Homeowner are working together for a collaborative build on the first Habitat home in Fayetteville since June 2022 on Maloney Ave.
The FAHFH construction crew and the HBI students are building a Habitat Home for the Johnson family over the next few months. The HBI students will leave the build site to attend career development classes in the afternoon as part of their free skilled trades training and education program, Path to Pro, provided by HBI and The Home Depot Foundation.
According to their website, HBI is the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of trade skills training and education for the building industry, focused on building the next generation of skilled tradespeople.
“They're a program that focuses on carpentry and electrical, and they do about six weeks of each course. And then Habitat figured out that they were basically intern students and so they collaborated at some point maybe a couple years ago. Since then, Habitat works with HBI and HBI comes out and they learn the trades that they’re learning in the classroom. So they get hands on training,” shared Habitat Construction Site Supervisor and HBI graduate Bryan Albarado.
According to leaders with FAHFH, this is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the two groups with benefits for both organizations as a number of Volunteers and staff working with FAHFH are also HBI graduates.
“Me as a student, I was in the program at the beginning of this year, and then, while I was working with Habitat, I decided that I wanted to get more into the community and so I decided to work for Habitat,” shared Albarado.
FAHFH provides qualified and experienced instructors and supervisors on their build sites to help guide students and ensure a quality build for the future homeowner.
“I think it's good for everybody. It helps us build our houses fast and affordably. It helps them get real world, hands on experience and it gives them an opportunity to serve the community,” shared Director of Faith & Community Relations and Army Veteran Kelly Rodriguez. “I don't even think soldiers realize how much service is important to them until they get out, because you're in it every day. For myself, I don't think you realize how much it does for you as a person, serving. And this gives them an opportunity to do that outside of the Army.”
Maloney Ave. is the site for a number of future Habitat projects, outside of the future Johnson home. According to Rodriguez, the current plan is to build six homes on the street, and incorporate the neighbors and other properties into the nonprofit’s Neighborhood Revitalization Project.
“With neighborhood revitalization as well, we're not trying to gentrify our home state. We don't want to out price anybody to where they can't even afford to pay the taxes on their homes anymore. We just want to build communities back up,” shared Rodriguez. “And for this [home] in particular, this is a really touching one. Miss Johnson, who's going to move into this home, her sister lives down the street, her mother used to live on this lot years ago. So in this case what sticks out to me is, she's coming back to her home family neighborhood. I get goosebumps, I just think it's really cool.”
The current home is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, with the group also expecting to begin pouring foundations for the other five homes on the street in the coming weeks.
This Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity home was made possible by the partnership with The Home Depot Foundation and the City of Fayetteville Department of Economic and Community Development. The Home Depot Foundation chose to support this effort based on the organization’s mission to provide safe and accessible housing solutions for veterans and train the next generation of skilled tradespeople, including the transitioning Fort Liberty soldiers from the HBI program.
The Johnson house is fully funded by the Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity.
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