The 2020 Street of Dreams Online Gala will provide funding for the construction of new homes at Nevada County Habitat’s Park Place development. Which means, over the next year, three deserving hardworking local families will receive the keys to their “forever” homes.
Construction at the site began in March, but when the global COVID-19 Pandemic sank in, Habitat had to take a beat to figure out how to continue building while keeping everyone at the build site safe.
“We made quick work of instituting strict health and safety protocols due to the Pandemic, and got right back on track. We don’t want to make selected homeowners wait too long for a safe, affordable home because we know more than ever how important that is,” says Lorraine Larson, Nevada County Habitat Executive Director. Those measures have included mandatory face coverings, accessible hand-washing stations on-site, sanitization of tools, and social distancing.
The dedicated Habitat construction crew embraced their new environment and hit the ground running. The first home – a one bedroom for the very first single adult selected by Nevada County Habitat (Danise H.) – is taking shape quickly. With the foundation and framing completed on house #1, the crew is now preparing the foundation work for the next home.
Social distancing has been somewhat challenging. “The first home at Park Place is small,” Larson said. “Having a full crew out there means we can’t social distance as effectively. So, with the three homes aligned in a row, it just made sense to work on at least two at the same time. That allows us to have the full crew on-site and adhere to our health and safety standards.”
Significant progress has been made on house #1 (Danise’s home), with its completion date estimated be sometime this Fall. Foundation work has already commenced on the second home. “Taking this approach actually helps make up some of the time lost to pausing construction during the spring due to COVID,” says Larson.
“I can’t say enough good things about our entire crew,” says Larson. “They care deeply for the people they are helping, and while they were concerned about COVID, they were chomping at the bit to get back out on the site. I can absolutely say that these homes are built with a heavy dose of love.”
Also in process are a two-bedroom for a Lanea C. and her young daughter, and a three-bedroom for Michael and Tommi D. and their two school-age children. A fourth home is also being planned for the site. A homeowner hasn’t been selected for that home yet.
“Our current future homeowners are working hard on their sweat equity hours,” Larson said. “They’re working on site, at ReStore, and helping further the Habitat mission at the office. We can’t wait to dedicate each of their homes and hand over the keys.”
Funding for the Park Place build comes from various avenues. The Wells Fargo Builds program has provided a grant for $15,000, and MC Construction is donating the roof for Danise’s home. The lion’s share of funding, though, comes from individual donors and from the money raised at Street of Dreams, Habitat’s primary fundraising event.
“We are eternally grateful to the sponsors, auction item donors, and even attendees,” Larson said. “They are the ones that make Street of Dreams so exciting year after year, and 2020 is no exception. We are very grateful for all of them.
“Our faithful donors and volunteers form the backbone of our efforts to provide working families with an opportunity to own a safe, decent and affordable home – and remain in the community. With their continued support, two families can be in their new homes by next spring, and the third by early summer in 2021.” Larson went on to say that every dollar donated to the organization goes directly into the construction of homes and is not used to cover overhead or operations.
Upon completion of the four homes in the Park Place build, Nevada County Habitat will commence with Heritage Oaks II, a 12-home build that will complete the Heritage Oaks neighborhood.
“The building of homes with hard-working local families is our mission,” Larson said. “That happens when the community bands together. Donors, volunteers, our homeowners. Because of this wonderful, unique blend over the past 25 years we’ve never stopped building. For that we are very grateful.”