Category: Projects

What’s happening on the job site


Habitat Happenings

429230_2357816439473_586290832_nWe’re pleased to introduce Hillary, our new Resource Development Coordinator, to the Habitat team! Hillary first came to us in 2014 as a volunteer. “She made a LOT of Auction phone calls,” says Fred Sheppard, Resource Development Manager. That dedication and social skill makes her well suited to working with community members and businesses who want to support Habitat’s mission of building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. We’re thrilled to have her!

Home Stretch

Sumas - inside kitchen beforeSpeaking of shelter, we would like to hand over the Sumas house keys to the Gutierrez family before school starts in late August, but we’ve still got a fair amount of work to finish up. This coming Saturday, July 30th, we plan to lay down vinyl flooring, install cabinets, and paint. We need volunteers every weekend between now and August 20th to finish on time. Please consider joining us down the home stretch by calling Janet Straka at 360.715.9170 to sign up. You can also email her at


Play Golf for Habitat Next Week

Image for CCHelping out at Habitat can also involve a nine iron, thanks to Whatcom County Association of Realtors. WCAR’s annual golf tournament is next Thursday, August 4th, at North Bellingham Golf Course. Because we’re the beneficiary of this year’s tournament, you can play golf and help Habitat at the same time! Shotgun start is at 1:30 PM and there will be prizes, BBQ, and even a few beer holes. Sign up individually or in teams here.


Progress in Sumas

Sumas - front yard with signWe’re getting closer to that house dedication we mentioned last month. The Gutierrez family home is coming along nicely with lots of work being done both inside and outside. Throughout June, volunteers helped to clean up the yard – filling in holes, pulling weeds, laying down planting mix and covering it with a protective layer of straw. Now Construction Manager Paul Stromdahl has his sights on finishing up the interior.

Making Home Affordable

BPC logo copyHere at Habitat, we’re as committed to long-term housing affordability as we are to keeping purchase costs down. That’s why we prioritize energy efficiency. To help reduce the family’s energy bills, we received help and guidance from The Opportunity Council. “They demonstrated for us how to make the house more energy efficient,” Stromdahl said. Their Building Performance Center came out and tested the house for air leakage then advised us based on the results of those tests, even going so far as to loan us a cellulose insulation blower – a tool that would cost us approximately $50 per day (plus a $250 deposit) to rent. We couldn’t be more grateful.

Sumas - yard volunteersHelp Out at Sumas

With a goal of welcoming the Gutierrez family into their new home as soon as possible, we could use all the help we can get. If you’re interested in joining a work party, call (360) 715-9170 or email to get details and let us know your availability.

Telegraph Townhomes: Another Step Forward

Test Pits DigConstruction on Telegraph Townhomes isn’t scheduled to start until Spring of 2017, but we’ve got a lot of work to do before that phase of the project can begin. Last week we crossed another item off our to-do list with the digging of test pits on the property in order to get the geological information we need to make sure storm water flows off the site in benign ways.

It Started with a Poker Game

During a friendly poker game, Executive Director John Moon and Bellingham local Steve LeCocq got to talking about Habitat for Humanity and the challenges of acquiring buildable land in Whatcom County. As it happened, LeCocq owned some of precisely that kind of land out on Telegraph Road. Moon contacted Kulshan Community Land Trust … would they be interested in partnering up? “We bought the property years ago to develop it,” LeCocq says. “So to have someone as cool as [Habitat and Kulshan CLT] come along ….” In short order, LeCocq’s land became the future site of Telegraph Townhomes.

Steve LeCocq digging test pitsNow We’re One Step Closer

In addition to selling his land to Kulshan CLT and Habitat, LeCocq also helps maintain it by mowing the 2.5 acres regularly. And last week he even climbed into a digger and dug the pits for the engineer! Thank you, Steve, for helping to make our Telegraph Townhomes project possible and for continuing to help us get closer to making that project a reality.

Habitat Happenings

golfer close

Drive to Build

Get your clubs ready! Whatcom County Association of Realtors (WCAR) is hosting their annual golf tournament on August 4th for the benefit of Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County. Sign up individually or in teams for your chance to compete on the beautiful North Bellingham Golf Course.

Ryan BoudreauMoceri Construction Helps Out at Habitat Store Whatcom

Ryan, a member of the Moceri Construction Crew, showed up last week to volunteer at the store. He told us his boss sent him over when a mild injury prevented him from his regular duties but still left him able-bodied enough to work. Ryan spent the day building homes in a whole new way … by helping store staff receive and display donated furniture, building materials, and household items. Thank you Ryan and Moceri Construction!

Rehab Project Needs Volunteers

Our Construction Project Manager, Paul, is looking for volunteers for the next few Saturdays to work on a rehab project out in Sumas. This Saturday, June 11th, he plans to focus efforts on the outside of the dwelling, leaving inside repair and maintenance for the 18th and 25th. Interested? Give Janet a call at 360.715.9170 or email

Thank You for a Successful Women Build 2016

2016 WB Group PhotoThis past weekend saw seventy (that’s seven zero, people!) enthusiastic Women Build volunteers at the future home of our Telegraph Townhomes project. What a turnout! Among the volunteers were Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, Bellingham Council Members Pinky Vargas and April Barker, Kulshan Community Land Trust Executive Director Dean Fearing, Kulshan Community Land Trust Board President Dan Dunne, and Lowe’s Store Manager Debbie Yates. We were also very fortunate to have the experience and expertise of the women carpenters of North Sound Carpenters Union, Local #70 on hand. Our goal for the day was to build the framing for a Volunteer Welcome Center that will serve as the base of operations throughout the entire construction period of our exciting Telegraph Townhomes project which is expected to begin in earnest in the Spring of 2017. We’re delighted to report that we accomplished that goal and then some!

Women Build 2016

The morning began with Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County Board President Ray Dellecker leading the assembled group in prayer. Afterwards we heard from Mayor Kelli Linville, Debbie Yates, Dean Fearing, and our own Executive Director John Moon who said:
2016 WB John with VIPs

No matter who we are or where we come from, we all deserve to know we have the power to take care of ourselves and build our own futures. At Habitat for Humanity this is what unites us and causes us to gather today. Through shelter we empower. Today, with sincere appreciation to the good folks at Lowe’s and our Women Build leadership team we welcome and thank you as we build upon this ground and take one more step in our journey to ensure that every single one of us has the opportunity for a better, stronger future.

After those inspiring words, our Construction Project Manager Paul Stromdahl put us all to work!

Every Helping Hand is a Building Block

2016 WB Local 70Thanks to every helping hand we were able to successfully complete our project which means we’re one small step closer to building shelter for 24 local families through our Telegraph Townhomes project. To see more photos of the build, check out our National Women Build Week album on Facebook.

Meet a Women-Builder: Alyssa Carpenter

Alyssa frames a wall at last year’s Women Build work site in Ferndale.

Alyssa Carpenter didn’t set out to be a leader.
A couple of years ago, she and a friend passed by the Habitat for Humanity booth at the Whatcom Home and Garden Show in Lynden. They saw some information about Habitat’s Women Build Program and decided to sign up.

They figured they might put in a day pounding nails on the upcoming build. But they soon got a call inviting them to join the Women Build leadership team, a group of volunteers working to organize and fund the build.
“We both just kind of went with it,” she says.

Working behind the scenes and on the job site at last year’s Women Build in Ferndale, Alyssa discovered she had a passion for building, leading, and making a difference.

This year, she’s back as the volunteer chairwoman for the Women Build 2013-14 Leadership Team.

Volunteering on the build site was empowering, says Alyssa, an office manager at a local advertising business. She helped roof a home, and learned to use a router and a chop saw
“By the end of the day, I was cool with it,” she said. She hadn’t had an opportunity to learn how to use power tools before. But on the Women Build job site, she felt comfortable asking for training. The skills she learned have already proved useful in her life, she says.

“You really don’t need to know anything about construction,” she says. “If you make a mistake, it’s not a big deal. They’ll show you how to fix it.”

Alyssa also enjoyed working alongside the house’s new owners, the Julio Ortiz family, on last year’s Women Build and seeing how the work they did together changed the family’s life.

Alyssa is excited about some improvements that will help the project have an even greater impact and also make the build more engaging for volunteers.

Women Build volunteers will be invited to join teams specific to each build day, and compete to creatively raise funds or in-kind donations for their building supplies.

“It helps you get excited for your day,” she says. “It brings in a little competition.”

Looking for a summer internship?

Habitat has internship positions open on the job site and in our store!

Construction: Habitat is looking for two high school youth over 16 to serve as construction crew leader interns this summer, helping lead work site volunteers on our latest “Passive” design home Bellingham.

The program, funded by the Bike & Build Organization, is a six week internship. Participants will receive a $700 stipend/scholarship at the end of their service.

The first three weeks will concentrate on construction skill development. The second three weeks will concentrate on leadership development. The internship will consist of four, eight-hour work days per week for six weeks.

This is a great opportunity to earn money for college, get involved in Habitat’s mission, and learn construction skills!

Interested in applying? Check out the job description online. Please send a resume and cover letter to Habitat’s Executive Director, John Moon at

Retail: The Habitat Store has openings for two retail associate interns. This position is open to applicants over 16 and will last for six weeks. Interns will learn customer service, cashiering, merchandising, and other retail skills while working four, eight-hour days per week. Interns will receive a $500 stipend/scholarship at the end of their service.

This is a good way to get job skills and earn money for school!

Interested in applying? Check out the job description online. Please send a resume and cover letter to Store Manager Susan Blatz, at

Going Solar with Western Solar

Our friends at Western Solar and their customers are helping Habitat go Solar!

This Spring, for every 10 panel or larger solar system that Western Solar sells, or for every person that refers Western Solar to a friend or family member that purchases a system, they will donate either one 250 Watt Solar Module or one Micro-Inverter and Racking Combination to our upcoming Women Build project in Blaine!

This is great because the home we are building in Blaine will be a Passive style home so it will already be super energy-efficient. With the addition of a solar system, we’ll make our partner family’s electric bills even lower!

Learn more at

About to lift a wall

Breaking ground with the Singh-Kuar Family!

A beautiful day for a ground-breaking! Congratulations Resham and Sajan on starting construction of their new home! Thanks to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and our other great Habitat supporters and volunteers for making this day possible! Thanks to the many supportive friends and family that came out to support the Singh-Kuar family. And thanks Resham for the samosas! Yum!

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