Habitat for Humanity in Review

Edes Ave, Oakland Project

Phase A-3  2008

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For the past several years John has been 'commuting' to volunteer in Oakland. This a picture highlight WEB of the work done on the third part of Phase 1.


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Dirt and Foundations

Hardly anyone wants to work on the foundations.  So to sweeten the volunteering, we all get a turn at backfilling the trenches with sand using the tracked Bobcat.  This also could be a fundraiser by charging for the fun!

New Volunteer

Dave Rosenberg, who worked with John for many years, saw the Bobcat picture and decided he wanted to volunteer too!  He we pose with our fearless leader, Chrissy, after a day of setting foundation forms (plus or minus 1/8" please).

Easter Basket

Jo-Ann loves to surprise the group with sweets.  Here, Chrissy shows here fascination when she spies the new addition to our 'dining table'.

Big Walls

Mike and Dave are a part of a special troop of volunteers who help erect the party walls.  This is a 'critical lift' for HfH and too many engineers cannot spoil the pot.  Here Dave is removing the lift lugs to leapfrog to the final wall.  Mike is safety standby.

Build-a-thon  Executive Build

John attends the first day of the build where he is privileged to work with Mike Bugbee, the President of Simpson Strong Tie.  Here Mike shows how to properly attach an earthquake tie-down.

New Friend and Homeowner

On the third day of the big build-a-thon, John has become good friends with Flo, the homeowner slated to move into home 26.  She loves the pneumatic nailer and is devoted to attaining perfection of her shear straps.

Getting Tired

On the last day of the build, John is getting a bit tired.  This is almost like work.  But Juan, Steve and Chrissy are still smiling!  For them this is almost like volunteering!

Talk to the Hand

Abbie hides behind the podium while Alyssa does a finger bandage puppet extolling the virtues of being safe on the job. Yes, everyone left with all the fingers they came with, including Alyssa.

More Food for Steve?

Steve pays us to get a good whipped cream pie in the face.  This is one of the fun, fundraising activities during the lunchtime at the Build-a-thon.

Three Amigos

OK, Mike Bartlett joins the Thursday Carpool as we enjoy the task of "framing pickup".  That means tweaking the 2x4's a bit, adding bracing, and generally bringing the framing up to Chrissy's high quality standard.

Time out for Alameda

We divert to the Alameda site for a few months.  Here John works with 2 new friends from Concord BMW and Merideth, a young friend here for the summer as an intern.  She loves the 255MAG Skillsaw, which is about as big as she is!

Corbel Cabaleros

The Alameda site has some architect-ural detail mandated by the very picky planning department.  To help in the "affordable' aspect of HfH homes, John Ralls, Dave and John take on the task of making 300 small decorative elements in our shops.  We band togeter at Daves home to make the final 94. 

Niece Julia and Willa

John is happy to have his niece, Julia Daly and her BFF, Willa help out for a day.  We're getting to final stage for Alameda.  Painting touch up and dryer vents.  Back to Oakland next week.

Stair Nosing

John is privileged to have one of the homeowners as a helper to install the nosings at the top of the stairs.  Pergo flooring is environmentally good, but hard to terminate at the top of the stairs.  John's shop has been put to good use now making custom stained hardwood transition strips for 28 HfH homes.  But what is really fun is seeing the joy and enthusiasm of a homeowner doing work on his own home!

Time Out

John and Dave take a regular volunteer day and go to the Simpson Strong Tie course in Stockton.  Were else would there be 'artwork' of an A-35 on the wall?  The slow pace of production on the factory floor really tells the story of the housing bust. And boy, did we learn a lot!

Setting Expectations by Pointing

Chrissy is an expert at lovingly setting high expectations by clear communication.  Here we see her at her best doing some spontaneous layout in the Commons Area of the development with Emily and Maggie.


Made in the Shade

John and Mike install some shades for the solar panel inverters.  Turns out the Sun, creator of the energy also has a negative effect on the electronics needed to make regular household current.  So we'll keep it in the dark and happy. 

This is not a birdhouse!

Corona Time

Well, the tradition continues that John is volunteering the day we get all the construction permits signed off.  That means a special Corona time at the end of the day to celebrate all homes complete!

Very Special Friends

At the dedication ceremony, everyone gets all spiffed up and we hardly recognize each other!  John was able to catch a moment as our fearless leaders, Steve and Chrissy, bask in the satisfaction of another set of homes complete.  Great job guys!  And thank you for letting us help.

Flo Gets her New Home!

If you recall, last April John made a new friend in Flo, who was working hard to make her sweat equity down payment on a new home for her and her 2 teenagers.  We were back to see her get her key and proudly show us hew new home.

The Beginning!

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