Local women launch Habitat for Humanity Women Build

When Lisa O’Hearn moved to Chandler from San Diego, she was surprised to find that there wasn’t already a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity Women Build, an organization she had been involved with in California. So, she did what any go-getter and community-minded person would do—she organized a new chapter.

“The organization is a community of women coming together to fundraise and build,” she explains. “It’s amazing the connectiveness that these women find with each other while giving back to the community.”

It took about a year to get the new chapter off the ground, but it’s now going strong and the building of a home is underway. With Women Build, there’s a fundraising component and the actual build component, and the group focuses on building one home per year.

For this group, a build site in Central Phoenix was identified and a family selected.

“I like to tell people that Habitat is a Hand Up, not a hand out,” O’Hearn says. “The receiving family goes through a very thorough vetting process, ensuring they have the need, that they are Legal U.S. citizens, they have at least 2 years of consistent income.  They’ll put in 200-400 hours of sweat equity and go through counseling and financial counseling.”

On a recent Saturday morning, the group met at the build site to meet the recipients of this home, sign the walls, and to kick off the build.

Approximately 300-350 women will be on the property throughout the build, with a number of them from Chandler—including O’Hearn, Vaughn Wittwer, Sybil Imel, Desirae Barkan.

The group also works until March 15 to raise funds (Classy.org/team/183963). The actually building begins April 27. For those interested in getting involved, contact O’Hearn at lisaohearn01@gmail.com.