Neighbors and passers-by were treated to an unusual sight on Gude Street in Seekonk on Thursday. It’s not every day that a 25-ton crane lifts an entire gabled roof to the top of a newly-constructed home in the quiet neighborhood. Dunlap Crane Service of Seekonk donated its time and effort to accelerate the progress of Old Colony Habitat for Humanity in building a home in partnership with Kathy Coyle, her daughter Emily Luther, and her grandson Jeremiah.
Harold Messenger, the project supervisor, suggested building the roof on the ground due to the height of the second story and the resulting danger it might pose to volunteers with little roofing or construction experience. Over two build days, volunteers built a frame to elevate the roof three feet off the ground as it was being built. This allowed access to the interior as it was closed in. Trusses were aligned and stabilized with bracing according to the plans, and then decking was installed to lock them into place. When all was ready, the crane operator installed strapping through holes cut in the roof and the bracing allowing the entire assembly to be lifted forty feet into the air and set down on the framing of the second story.
“We built the roof in two days and installed it in about 30 minutes,” says Harold. “Next week Ferrara Construction out of Brockton will finish it off with shingles provided by GAF. These donations have made it possible to close in the house in record time.”
With the roof in place, volunteers on Saturday were able to begin constructing the porch roof, complete the second story sheathing, install doors and windows, and begin the strapping on the second floor. Carl Adler acted as Team Leader for the day. “We made a lot of progress on the list that Harold gave us. It was a great group of volunteers.”
Construction on these items will continue next Saturday from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. Volunteers can sign up to participate by clicking here Volunteer.
Twenty feet above the ground, Kathleen Coyle wrestles the nail gun into position and quickly secures a section of subfloor to the joists of the second floor of her new home. 35-year resident of Seekonk and an employee of the Town Finance Department, Kathleen was recently selected to partner with Old Colony Habitat for Humanity in building a home on Gude Street. Part of her responsibility is to contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity” to the construction of the home or to other Habitat projects.
“ This is something I can have for my children and grandchildren,” she says. “I couldn’t believe it when I was selected.”
Habitat selects homeowners based on need, ability to pay a no-interest mortgage, and willingness to partner in building the home. Kathy is currently in public housing. With the encouragement of friends and co-workers, she responded to an information session at the Seekonk Public Library and submitted an application.
“The waiting was the hardest part. When I heard I was selected, I was overjoyed. I hadn’t thought anything good could happen in my life after losing my son in a car accident six years ago.” Now she, her daughter Emily, and grandson Jeremiah, (7 months), will have a home to call their own.
Each Saturday, Habitat volunteers will work with them using materials contributed by the affiliate and local donors. The lot on Gude Street was donated by the Town of Seekonk along with a financial grant specifically for the purpose of building a home for a low-income family.
“There is such a shortage of affordable housing in the area, and this gives me an opportunity to raise my family in a community that cares so much about people.”
Our first build day for the Seekonk house will be Saturday, July 20th. We have several scheduled build days through the end of September and will add additional dates so keep checking back to see when you can help us! Click here to volunteer - we’d love to have you join us! Any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to our usual volunteers we are currently seeking several Board of Director positions. We currently have openings for Board Members, Vice President, Secretary, and Corporate Governance positions. Click here for more information on these positions or submit any questions or resume to email@example.com.