Habitat for Humanity looking to rope in volunteers


By Leah Ballard | Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County

What an incredible week for Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County. Not only did we get some rain to add a little drama to our Difference Maker’s Build Day Lunch and Learn, but we had clear blue skies for Crane Day, when our indieDwell modular units were delivered. Then we ended the week with wine, women and song at our Hats Off to Habitat Ladies Luncheon.

Now, as you can see from our cover photo, we’re ready to rope in more volunteers. As we speak, volunteers are shoring up a 4-foot pony wall in the crawl space under those shrink-wrapped modules you can see out on North Pagosa Boulevard.

In the next few days, our construction supervisor, Jeff Bouwer, will be completing the set and stitch on the modules, as one of very few contractors in the area certified to do so. 

Once Bouwer and our volunteers have finished bolting the roof seams and weld-plates in place, volunteer welder James Rice will permanently affix our modules to the foundations. But don’t worry — there’s still plenty of work if you’re ready to come out and get your hands dirty.

In the coming weeks, we’ll set roof trusses and then lay the roof sheathing. Metal for the roof is set to arrive in early October from our friends in the San Luis Valley (between hunting trips, of course). 

Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County
An indieDwell modular unit is set in place atop a foundation on Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County’s Crane Day. The organization is looking for volunteers to help complete its current projects before the snow flies.

In the meantime, you can be among the lucky volunteers to unveil these modules as we begin to hang siding and wainscoting. We’ll also have some indoor-outdoor projects and painting once the set and stitch is inspected.

You don’t need experience or a big group to come help out. Our lead volunteer, Larry Parks, is happy to show you the ropes. But if your business is interested in sending a crew out, now is the time to give us a call.

To find out what tasks happen when, email Debbie at office@habitatarchuleta.org to join our mailing list. We’ll need all hands on deck to get these builds done before the snow flies — and, hopefully, Amber and Jennifer will have one jam-packed Thanksgiving table this year. 

While we typically like to work in groups of up to 12 people, this fall we’ll take all the volunteers who’ll fit in our two 960-square-foot units. For those of you who thought we were putting two families of three in those cute little 12-foot by 24-foot buildings — those are the garages. Habitat Archuleta isn’t jumping on the tiny-house bandwagon anytime soon, nor the recycled-container-home trend. These are high-quality, steel-frame, Energy Star-rated modular homes for our affordable housing inventory — and if you want to get a sneak peek on what these indieDwell units are all about, be sure to wear gloves and come lend a hand. 

That sneak peek was one way we lured so many stakeholders out to the jobsite for our Difference Maker’s Build Day Lunch and Learn last Thursday, despite torrential downpour. Habitat Archuleta is the pilot program for these high-quality modular units. Pagosa is the first in the state to boast a single-family home from indieDwell, a nonprofit manufacturer in Pueblo, Colo. 

Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County
Workers measure and help place modular units that were recently delivered. Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County is looking for volunteers to help finish in-progress homes.

We hosted affordable housing advocates from all over the state, as well as a handful of our local stakeholders like Pagosa Springs Town Council members and county commissioners, our Chamber of Commerce, the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation and Archuleta School District.

Habitat Colorado Executive Director Karen Kallenberg and Colorado’s USDA Single Family Homes director, Terry Shek, also came out to see the homes. Shek and Kallenberg are major contributors to funds made available to our community, for both new and existing homes.

Apart from showing our progress, the Lunch and Learn was meant to facilitate deeper partnerships with the businesses and nonprofit organizations in our community. Our goal was to educate local stakeholders and advocates on what we’re doing so we can all work together to pursue bigger projects going forward.

We heard it was a job well done, despite the mud. Our regional Colorado Housing and Finance Authority representative, Chris Lopez, came prepared with his work gloves, but was disappointed the Build portion of the day got rained out. If you see him out at the jobsite in these next few weeks, ask him to put in a good word for our Direct Effect Award application.

Habitat Archuleta Homes are a combination of volunteer labor, subcontractor contributions, in-kind donation of products and services, and homeowner sweat equity. Habitat families work alongside volunteers to build their home and pay an affordable mortgage.

These hours and efforts will be appreciated for generations by our workforce homeowners, the businesses who employ them and the children who rely upon them. 

Contact us to see how you can get involved. We’ll be on the job site Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to get it done before the snow flies. Please call (970) 264-6960 or email office@HabitatArchuleta.org before you arrive so we can plan for how many hands will be on deck.