Helping hands needed for Penticton’s Habitat for Humanity

Penticton's Habitat for Humanity is offering a chance to learn some new skills and lend a helping hand at the same time.

Habitat for Humanity is offering a chance to learn some new skills and lend a helping hand at the same time.

Monday, construction will begin on a rammed earth wall for their latest project, an energy saving, environmentally friendly home on Huth Avenue in Penticton.

A supervisor from Solum Rammed Earth will be on site to oversee the work, but volunteers are needed to help with the process. Lynn Popoff of Habitat for Humanity South Okanagan said anyone who wants to get first hand experience with rammed earth is welcome to join the crew.

“It’s really labour intensive, so we need lots of people,” said Popoff. “It’s hard work. The more people we have, then we can spell people off and give others a break. We do have some confirmed, but we certainly need more.”

Forms are being built for the rammed earth wall, and Popoff estimates the entire job will take about seven working days to complete. Safety training will be offered on site, with work starting at 8 a.m. on Sept. 17 at 12 Huth Ave., behind Midas Muffler in Penticton.

“Monday will be the first day that they are actually doing the ramming process,” she said. “They can just do three or four feet at a time, then they have to change the forms.”

The project has been underway for two years, as Habitat searched for a recipient family and organized permits and zoning with the City of Penticton. Uncertain spring weather made for a slow start to construction of the home, but Popoff said they are ramping up, and still hope to have it completed before the end of the year, so the recipient Draus family can move in by Christmas.

In the meantime, John Draus is working alongside the volunteers, putting in the 500 hours of sweat equity required by Habitat. With that done, and a Habitat mortgage signed for the cost of construction, the project will become home to Draus, his wife April and their two children, Nathan and Chloe.

For more information contact Lynn Popoff at 778-476-0609.