Habitat 1

Thursday was the first time in nearly two months that Habitat for Humanity staff members worked from their office in Tuscaloosa. Executive Director Ellen Potts told us about their first day back and what it’s going to take to get back to normal for them.

“Things are just crazy,” Potts said. “Right at the beginning of this crisis, I changed our reopening date on our website four times in three days. So, the last time I just put closed until further notice.”

Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates high quality, affordable houses working alongside volunteers and homeowner partner families. during the coronarus pandemic, they like almost ever other entity, have not been able to maintain normal operations.

“Spring is our crazy crazy crazy busy time,” Potts said. “Really from about the last week of February through March April and may usually we have three new houses and several rehab projects going on. Pretty much all of that just stopped.”

Potts says habitat Tuscaloosa has many projects that have had to be put on hold.

“We had a Mercedes build that was supposed to have been taking place. We have a house that would have been easily completed by now and another one that would be a quarter to a half way done,” Potts said.

Habitat for Humanity does not only build homes, so the pandemic has impacted their repair services as well.

“If it is a new job, a new home, we can send our staff safely and they can social distance or they can work by themselves,” Potts said. “With a repair job, you are going into somebody’s house usually which is not safe for our employees or for the homeowner. We have put that on hold for now. ”

Moving forward, the Habitat for Humnity Tuscaloosa office will be open to staff members and those who have appointments only.
“Our homeowners are disappointed,” Potts said. ‘They were hoping to move into their house sooner rather than later, but it is what it is. You do the best you can. We are just trying to navigate through the new normal. Whatever that may be.”

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