Habitat Choptank to host new volunteer info session in Hurlock

Special to Dorchester Banner/Habitat Choptank In August, Habitat volunteers from Cambridge and Easton set the roof trusses for the home now under construction in Hurlock. Habitat is looking to recruit local volunteers from North Dorchester County to help finish this build and enable Habitat to build more homes in Hurlock.

Special to Dorchester Banner/Habitat Choptank
In August, Habitat volunteers from Cambridge and Easton set the roof trusses for the home now under construction in Hurlock. Habitat is looking to recruit local volunteers from North Dorchester County to help finish this build and enable Habitat to build more homes in Hurlock.


HURLOCK — In April of this year, Habitat for Humanity Choptank began construction on its first home in the Town of Hurlock. The one-story single family home at 408A Charles St. is now framed, under roof and closed in with windows and doors installed. While steady progress has been made on the build, the nonprofit is relying mostly on construction volunteers from Talbot County to fill its weekly work schedule. To sustain a building program in North Dorchester, Habitat Choptank needs to grow a crew of local volunteers who will come out regularly to build, as has happened in the other communities where its affordable homeownership program can be found.

To learn more about volunteering in construction – as well on a variety of committees, at the ReStore and with special projects – Habitat Choptank is hosting a volunteer information session on Oct. 22. Community members are invited to drop in between 10 a.m. – noon at Unity-Washington United Methodist Church at 112 N. Main St in Hurlock.

“Our homes are built mostly by volunteers, both skilled and unskilled,” explains Wayne Suggs, Habitat Choptank’s director of construction. “Whether you are a contractor, an experienced do-it-yourselfer or have never picked up a hammer in your life, we can use your help.”

During October, work will take place at the Hurlock jobsite on Tuesdays and the first Saturday of the month under the supervision of Habitat Choptank’s construction staff. Tools are provided on site. In addition to individual volunteers, small groups of 4-8 people from businesses, civic groups and churches are also welcome by advance arrangement.

On a Habitat build site, there are many tasks that require only a willingness to learn and work with others. “We make every effort to involve willing volunteers, both men and women, regardless of skill level,” Mr. Suggs notes. All volunteers on the construction site must be at least 16 years of age or older.

New volunteers are asked to attend a one-time orientation. Fall sessions are set for Oct. 25 and Nov. 16. There is a morning and an afternoon orientation session each of these days at the Habitat Choptank office in Trappe. To attend, community members should call 410-476-3204 or e-mail program@habitatchoptank.org.

Construction volunteers help with most every aspect of the homebuilding process. By working side-by-side with the individual or family who will buy the house, these volunteers experience for themselves the joy created when Habitat homebuyers are able to realize their dream of homeownership.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 69 working households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build the stability, security and self-reliance that comes from buying a home with monthly mortgage that they can afford. Each homebuyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses.

While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation homebuyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 3 percent foreclosure rate with only two homes foreclosed over the 24-year history. Currently, nine buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward purchasing homes under construction in Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton.

For information about homeownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

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