After a 65-day shutdown due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, construction at Nevada County Habitat for Humanity’s Park Place build-site resumed on June 2nd.

“We rely heavily on construction volunteers to build our homes,” says Lorraine Larson, Nevada County Habitat’s Executive Director, “We, technically, could have been building during the shutdown. But, out of respect for the health and well-being of our committed volunteers, we put everything on pause. That said, we’re ecstatic to be back on the site.”

To emphasize Habitat’s commitment to the health of its volunteers, a new set of protocols have been adopted at the work site. All members of the construction team must wear masks and maintain social distancing. Also on site are additional wash stations, along with a healthy supply of hand sanitizer.

“We’re also having everyone tested,” says Frank Sobrero, Habitat’s Construction Supervisor. “We want to play this safe.”

Social distancing requirements also limit the number of people who can be on-site at any given time. However, with three houses situated side-by-side, the construction team will work on all three simultaneously over the course of the summer and fall, ensuring that more volunteers can go to work.

Back on-site June 2nd, the team began by shoring up the framework to pour the footings and foundation of the first home. Concrete flowed into their work the morning of June 16th – with future homeowner, Danise, on-hand. Prior to the pour, she and John Shulse, a long-time Habitat volunteer, placed a special rock inside the corner of the framework, the cornerstone for her new home.

“I picked the biggest, ugliest rock because I felt like I had a backpack full of them for so long,” Danise said. “I wanted it to be the last time I was weighed down. I can’t help but think back on the moves I’ve made and not wanting to unpack all the way because it was going to be temporary. I feel the rock I chose gave me a sense of a solid foundation and that I was there to witness it.”

Framing for Danise’s home will soon begin. And soon enough Danise will only need to unpack one more time.


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