Project CO #3: First Day – Joe’s House

DSC01623Today we worked on Joe’s house. This is the home where he raised his 3 children and started a successful chiropractic practice.

Last September, when a year’s worth of rain fell in two days, Lyons was one of the areas hardest hit. Joe’s house and business were literally under water.


Months later, the rebuilding efforts began with partial demolition of his home and then lifting of the main structure.

DSC01627One year after the floods, Joe’s street is lined with homes that appear to be either condemned or under construction. Two blocks away, I could see where other houses had already been lifted and renovated, much like the work we were doing on Joe’s house.




Greg, a seasoned contractor and our All Hands Site Leader, swiftly organized gear and delegate tasks. Greg has been here since June.

Next week, after All Hands hands off the CO rebuilding efforts to Habitat for Humanity, Greg will transfer to the Detroit post flood rebuilding efforts.


DSC01642With temps in the 20s, we were grateful for the propane heaters that kept us warm while we painted interior walls.  I worked along two very bright and interesting young students from the San Francisco area.  Kate is studying public health and Naoki – humanities, both are taking a little time away from school to travel and volunteer on cool projects.


AH-hfh-signThe CO build team is comprised of both All Hands and Habitat for Humanity staff who work full time and many volunteers who have been here since August of this year.  There are others, like me, who are only here for one to two weeks.

I’ve met some who have worked in Haiti – we exchanged stories about the villages and kind Haitian people.

Many volunteers here have traveled the world working with All Hands Volunteers or Habitat for Humanity on other disaster response projects. I look forward to hearing their stories.


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