The mission of Habitat’s Women Build program is to enable U.S. and international affiliates to recruit, educate and nurture women to build—and advocate for—simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities.
In achieving this, Women Build brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of women and children worldwide. Since becoming a Habitat for Humanity International program in 1998, Women Build projects, fundraising campaigns, and advocacy efforts have taken place in more than 30 countries.
The Women Build program helps Habitat for Humanity build more homes by recruiting women and girls. Women represent a tremendous volunteer pool. Women Build houses provide an opportunity for women to learn construction skills while working on construction crews composed predominantly of women.
In Lawrence, the Women Build program has sponsored six homes, with a seventh being started this fall for Haley Patterson and her four children.
On Sunday, June 2nd we held our first-ever Women Build Kick-Off event! Nearly 40 people attended the start of the event at Home Depot, where volunteers, supporters, friends, co-workers, and sisters joined us to get their hands dirty building flower boxes, planting flowers, and spreading cheer to our Habitat homeowners! Then, we took everyone on a tour of a Lawrence Habitat for Humanity home and heard from a few of our homeowners.
But wasn’t all work! We also held an early-evening Kick-Off Happy Hour at Paradise Carpet One – complete with refreshments, swag, and fun! We definitely think we’ll be making this event an annual “thing,” no doubt!
Meet our 2019 Women Build home partner, and Lawrence Habitat’s 102nd homeowner, Haley Patterson!
Haley Patterson and her four children, Larkin (14), Kenadee (9), Kambree (6), and Knox (4), have lived in Lawrence for a little over five years and have only glowing things to say about the area. “We absolutely love this town and the schools,” she says. Haley says that she has always had to rent a place to live in Lawrence, and required roommates to help her pay the bills, although she always dreamed that her family would have a place of their own.
One day, a former Habitat homeowner suggested to Haley that she should attend a Habitat homeowner informational meeting in January 2018, which she did. “With all the families there I never thought I would have the chance to be picked, so I did my research while I waited and discovered how great Habitat really was.”
Haley says she prayed every day, imagining she would get a phone call or a letter informing them that they would become homeowners. “The day I found out that my family and I were chosen…it was surreal,” she says. “Our lives were going to get better, my family was going to get closer, and my dream was actually going to come true!” She says she could only think of how happy she and her children would be now that they would soon have their “forever home.”
Haley says she is “beyond excited” to get to work on their home in 2019, and she cannot wait to start her sweat equity hours. “My family is so ecstatic, and my heart is absolutely full. We will forever be grateful to Lawrence Habitat for Humanity for making this all possible!”
The Patterson family home will be Lawrence Habitat’s 102nd home and our 2019 Women Build home. It is also part of our Beyond 100 Homes campaign, with construction beginning in 2019.
Every year, Lawrence Habitat for Humanity holds a live and silent auction fundraiser for the Women Build project, known as the “Women Build Happy Hour.” The 2017 Women Build Happy Hour will be our largest and most important fundraiser of the year for Lawrence Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Project. All ticket sales and auction proceeds will go towards helping build a home for a Lawrence Habitat family. Be sure to follow Lawrence Habitat’s Women Build project on Facebook for future events and the announcement of our next Women Build Happy Hour!
Take a look at the 7 families Women Build has built for already!