Thursday, July 25, 2024

Habitat for Humanity pauses regular construction work to help rebuild after Florence

A lot of the work involves addressing the mold the results from flooding. It requires special equipment, but it can mean the difference between a house that's liveable and one that isn't.

 Habitat for Humanity is putting new construction on hold to help restore homes damaged by Hurricane Florence. (Port City Daily photo | File)
Habitat for Humanity is putting new construction on hold to help restore homes damaged by Hurricane Florence. (Port CIty Daily photo | File)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Habitat for Humanity is best known for providing affordable housing to those in need, as well as its knack for building these homes by combining volunteers and professional construction crews. Now, the Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity (CFHFH) is putting a hold on new construction to help those in need rebuild after Hurricane Florence.

Executive Director of CFHFH Steve Spain said, “Our construction staff and regular volunteers have formed teams who are working in partnership with Baptists on Mission to help address emergency needs of homeowners in New Hanover, Pender, and Duplin Counties.”

Spain continued, “[Baptists on Mission] has been on the ground for a week, assessing damage and establishing priorities. Rather than try to create our own relief effort, Habitat is partnering with them to get our greatest asset, experienced construction teams of staff and volunteers, working as effectively as possible.”

Habitat crews are mostly working to help restore some of the homes that have been heavily damaged from flooding in an effort to make those homes livable.

“The primary activities we have been engaged in are clearing trees from houses and ‘mucking out’ houses that were flooded,” Spain said.

Mucking out involves the removal of flood-damaged flooring, drywall, etc. and treatment against mold with antimicrobial agents. This makes houses livable again, even if there remains a lot of repair work to be done.

“This work requires personal protection equipment, like respirators, gloves, goggles, etc. which we have in stock and are receiving from Habitat for Humanity International and other donors,” Spain said.

Habitat for Humanity’s other businesses, ReStore shops, offer household goods to retail customers at a discounted price and are asking for donations for the cause. The revenue from all items sold at ReStore locations goes back into helping the community.

“At this time, Cape Fear Habitat ReStore is seeking donations of new and gently used household items such as appliances, building materials, furniture, lighting fixtures, cabinets, and more.  With free pick-up service and donation drop-off centers at three convenient locations, Cape Fear residents can easily donate new and gently used items to a great cause,” according to a press release from Habitat for Humanity.

Anyone in need of support or relief can visit disaster relief operation centers where teams from Habitat will be stationed.

“The specific Disaster Relief Operation Centers (DROC) from which Habitat teams are/will be working in partnership with BOM are located at: Riley’s Baptist Church in Rocky Point; Scotts Hill Baptist Church in Scotts Hill, Poston Baptist Church in Wallace, and First Baptist Church Activity Center on Independence Ave. in Wilmington. People in need of help can go directly to these locations, where BOM is also providing food and other emergency relief,” Spain said.

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