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Habitat for Humanity faces changes during pandemic

The Jim Wells County operations have been different for volunteers.
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Posted at 6:49 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 20:15:04-05

ALICE, Texas — Jim Wells County’s Habitat for Humanity has started its yearly operations in Alice, but with COVID-19 still around, there are some challenges volunteers have had to face.

Usually Habitat for Humanity will have one team for the exterior of the house and one for the interior, but with the pandemic, workers are doing both.

However, that's not the only change. Instead of the usual 20 workers, they have 11 this year and instead of working the usual 3 weeks, caravaners that come from different states and other volunteers will have to work about 4-5 weeks.

However caravaners like Christine McCarthy find that helping others that work and build their own house makes it worth it.

“People are not getting a free house. I mean, they have to work, they have to be able to pay a mortgage. It’s an interest free mortgage, but they have to follow some requirements, so it’s not giving them a hand out,” she said and explained that this is a reason she finds worthy to volunteer for.

The family that receives the house must pay a mortgage on it as well as put in 300 hours of labor towards it.

As for parts like lumber and windows, those have been hard to get because the manufacturers are behind on sending them.

Some counties across the country are not building houses this year and for some volunteers, they’re thankful they can work through the pandemic.

“All of the different restrictions that we’ve had since COVID-19 started, those have been an adjustment so far. But if you look hard enough, there’s still Habitat affiliates out there building,” Jake Newell, a volunteer, said.

The house is expected to be completed in May or June.