Women Build Event Helps Veteran
by Richard Virgilio
As part of Coastal Habitat for Humanity’s annual Women Build Day, more than 50 women, ages 18 to 70 years old, helped frame the exterior of a new home on DeWitt Avenue in Asbury Park on Saturday. The single-family home is the first the organization is constructing specifically for a veteran and family challenged with mobility issues.
"Our 10th annual Women Build was a day of empowerment for women as well as giving back to a veteran family that has sacrificed so much for our country,” said Maureen Mulligan, executive director, Coastal Habitat. “This was the largest Women Build event we’ve done in our charity's 22-year history.”
Guided by a professional contractor, volunteers assembled the frame panels for the home’s exterior. Volunteers inscribed personal notes of inspiration, gratitude, encouragement and hope on the studs to the new homeowner. Scheduled for completion Spring 2017, the two-story home will be one hundred percent customized for an individual with mobility challenges and feature lowered cabinets, over-sized shower stalls, ramp entrances and a stair lift. Design of the home will meet Universal Accessibility guidelines including equitable, flexible and intuitive use, tolerance for error as well as low physical effort.
“Things that may seem minor like doorknobs will all be fitted for ease-of-use and accessibility,” said Barbara Macera, Women Day organizer. “This is a house built by the community for the community. All the volunteers spent a day in the rain helping because they are grateful for what veterans have done for our country.”
Coastal Habitat is working with organizations like Disabled Vets of New Jersey, Disabled American Vets and Vets 4 Warriors to identify a partner homeowner. Applications are currently being accepted for a potential homeowner. Contact the organization for details.
Women Build, originally called “Ladies Build” was founded by first lady Rosalynn Carter in 1997. Land for the home was donated by the City of Asbury Park. Construction is being funded by the city as well as individual donors and corporate supporters. Lowe's Home Improvement is the local and national sponsor for Women Build.