Sunday, September 11, 2005

Building Freedom Day

Katherine and I visited the newest job site of Tucson Habitat For Humanity this morning. Nearly 1000 volunteers were building eight new homes for their fellow citizens, folks who would not otherwise have ever had a place of their own.

Recipients of Habitat-built houses must put 400 hours of sweat-equity into their homes. When they move in they become home owners, with a monthly interest free mortgage payment of 400 hundred dollars. The mortgage has a term of 25 years, and their monthly payment goes back into Habitat’s kitty.

When Habitat receives donations of $65,000 dollars it buys material to start a new building project. Current estimates of final building material cost is around $90,000.

The City of Tucson donated the land for the current project on condition that its own architect do the design…pro bono, I believe.

I thought today’s work project was an example of everything good that Americans think about themselves. Gay and straight, black and white, young and old, anglo and hispanic, all such differences unimportant as they sweated in the desert sun for their fellow citizens.

An American community.

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