CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Every year, hundreds of volunteers partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for families in need.
But this year, the projects have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In mid-March, Habitat for Humanity of Corpus Christi stopped allowing volunteers on-site so crews could maintain social distance.
“It is very frustrating because you have families wanting to get into their homes, but you can’t move forward in finishing their homes for them,” said Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Carol Gomez.
The non-profit remains dedicated to the community, building homes for low-income families. However, with no funding coming in and the closing of its store, the pandemic has really thrown a wrench into its building plans.
“We have to look for extra funding somewhere else, and, in the meantime, the homes that we were going to be repairing, that we were going to be building, everything just put on hold until we find additional funding,” said Gomez.
Perhaps the biggest hit was for those in Rockport-Fulton, who still need critical home repairs after Hurricane Harvey.
“We still have people who are still suffering damages from Harvey, and now we are having to put them off a lot longer, and we can’t get to them for a while. So this was really hard on our community,” said Habitat for Humanity Rockport Executive Director Patricia Butters.
Local leaders at Habitat said they know this is a difficult time for everybody.
“As we move forward, we are really not sure what is to happen. We are not sure if we have to make up that gap from the volunteers, and now pay for subcontractors because I think we are going to be very careful with social distancing from this point forward,” said Butters.
The lack of volunteers and canceled fundraising events have put the non-profit in jeopardy of not reaching its goals for 2020.
And until they get the green light from Habitat for Humanity International, they can’t open up construction sites to volunteers.