CHICAGO — With hard hats, hammers and plenty of heart, women came together Saturday to build and make a difference on the City’s Far South Side.
“Just a couple of weeks ago, we were just putting sticks up,” said Jen Parks, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Chicago. “[Now] the homes are being closed in and it’s just remarkable to see the work that’s been done.”
A group of more than 600 women participated in Habitat’s annual Women Build Project, where they helped build three houses at a construction site found near the intersection of West 123rd Street and South Union Avenue this weekend.
“I love volunteering on sites, helping to build homes,” said Shahiedah Shabazz, a lawyer and Habitat for Humanity Chicago board member. “I grew up in a house full of architects, I’ve been around construction and development my entire life.”
Parks said the project aims to raise awareness about homeownership disparities and is a part of a strategic long term investment in the West Pullman neighborhood, where more than 40 homes have been built and a new townhome development is planned to start next year.
“We come together in a very special way, we support each other,” Parks said. “I think we bring a level of compassion and passion to this process that’s very special.”
According to Parks, buyers are already lined up for three of the four neighboring homes at 123rd and Union, which are expected to close next spring, and this year’s build project raised more than $600,000.
For more information on other projects Habitat for Humanity Chicago is putting together and how to get involved, those interested can visit their website online.