Robert McNamara from Kauai Habitat for Humanity traveled to Washington to help build a house on the National.
The mall, the heart of the nation’s capital, serves as a construction zone now through this Friday, Nov. 18, as Habitat and Freddie Mac leaders and volunteers team together to build homes that will help house families affected by hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region.
During the Washington build, frames for 51 homes will be completed, one representing each state and the District of Columbia.
Kauai Habitat for Humanity’s leaders were invited to send a representative because they belong to a top-performing affiliate in Hawai’i.
Leaders of Habitat for Humanity International invited two representatives from topperforming affiliates in each of the 50 states to help build.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to travel to Washington and be part of this national effort with Freddie Mac,” said McNamara.
“Habitat for Humanity is not only helping to make a difference in the lives of people affected by the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, but also building in Kaua’i with families in need.” “America Builds on the National Mall” is part of a larger, nationwide effort by Habitat for Humanity leaders and volunteers that engages partners and communities to panelize interior and exterior walls that are then shipped to the Gulf Coast region and assembled into permanent housing.
Leaders of Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s largest investors in residential mortgages, are the sole corporate sponsor, and have sent several hundred employee volunteers to help frame the homes.
Progress on the project is being covered by members of the “NBC News Today” TV show as part of their ongoing Make a Difference Today partnership with officials from Habitat for Humanity International.
Members of news crews from NBC 4 in Washington, D.C., are also covering the week’s activities, and are sponsors of the event.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Freddie Mac to join Habitat in helping lowincome families who were affected or displaced by the hurricanes,” said Richard F.
Syron, Freddie Mac’s chair and chief executive officer.
“It’s a natural extension of what we do everyday: make homes possible for families,” said Syron. “This build symbolizes the entire nation’s extraordinary response to the Gulf region.” The District of Columbia house, among the first to be built, is framed, doors and windows installed, and roof trusses added, and stands during the build as a demonstration house.
Between four and eight houses are being framed each day, with homes representing the four states affected most by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, being framed the last day, this Friday, Nov. 18.
Operation Home Delivery is Habitat’s for Humanity’s effort to assist families in need in finding housing and hope in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes that devastated Gulf Coast communities.
One element of the program provides for volunteers to contribute to the effort by building at special events outside the Gulf region so that houses and funds can be “stockpiled” until cities and families in hurricane-ravaged areas are ready to begin rebuilding in place.
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry whose leaders welcome to their work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating substandard housing.
Since 1976, Habitat volunteers and staff have built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for one million people. The Web site is www.habitat.org