Habitat for Humanity volunteers in Charlottesville are hammering away to get eight homes roof-ready in 11 days. They kicked off the "Belmont Push" building blitz in Wednesday's extreme heat.
Volunteers and future homeowner families started work around 7:45 a.m. and called it quits around 1 p.m. to avoid the worst of the high temperatures.
They're already making progress on the project.
The sweltering heat didn't delay the start of Habitat's "Belmont Push." Volunteer Daniel Farmer travels with the Bike & Build group that cycles between Habitat sites. He geared up with a water pack on his back.
"I have the hydration pack on my back so I can drink it as I'm doing whatever," said Farmer.
Sweat-drenched volunteers are working through this week's heat and humidity.
"We're definitely encouraging breaks - multiple breaks," said Sara Parrish, volunteer manager. "We've got cooling stations, first aid stations, fans set up. We really want to encourage our volunteers to take these breaks."
Volunteers will frame up eight homes in 11 days.
"We make a lot of progress for partner families in a very short period of time," said Dan Rosensweig, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville director.
The Habitat houses are the first stage of the Belmont Cottages neighborhood. The next includes seven market-rate homes to create a mixed-income community.
"It doesn't matter if you're a food server at UVA or an investment banker; we all get along in this community, and giving people the opportunity to live together is what we're all about," said Rosensweig.
Phyllis Turner, a soon-to-be Habitat homeowner, appreciates the helping hands of these volunteers as they build her family's dream together.
"It's overwhelming really, because I never thought I could have something of my own," said Turner.
Those eight families should be able to move in within six months.
Habitat is planning another, shorter day of work Thursday due to the heat and humidity.
To learn more about volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or on the "Belmont Push" project, click here.
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