Josh Guthrie, Branch Manager of Washington Federal’s Cornwall branch, stopped by yesterday with a quite a gift … a $1000 check to support our Telegraph Townhomes project! “Affordable housing is a passion for us,” he said, adding that it’s also a particular passion of his, having personally experienced the impact a safe, decent, affordable place to call home can have on families. He came into our offices to personally deliver the gift – from the Washington Federal Foundation – and wish us luck with the project, which will create affordable housing opportunities for 24 local families.
Thank you, Josh, and Washington Federal for helping to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. We are grateful!
Construction 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.
Now 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.
This 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:
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
Thanks 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.