October 7, 2019 -- When the efforts of volunteers from the Land Electronics and Electro-optical and Infrared Systems businesses of Leonardo DRS in Melbourne, Fla., have concluded, Karla Griggs, a veteran and a single mother of two grown children, will have her own piece of the American dream.
As a Habitat for Humanity homeowner, Griggs will make a down payment and complete 300 “sweat equity” volunteer hours. In return she will receive an interest-free affordable mortgage on her new Habitat home.
Habitat for Humanity is an international nonprofit and non-governmental organization founded in 1976 to build simple, decent and affordable housing for disadvantaged people throughout the world. Two-bedroom homes for Griggs and five other female veterans are under construction on six lots donated to Habitat in Brevard County, Fla. The organization builds houses from the ground up with the help of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and organizations.
The house for Griggs in Cocoa, Fla., is more than 20 percent complete. The walls have been framed, and work is proceeding on the framing and preparing of the roof for placement of plywood and shingles.
Besides framing and prepping, the DRS volunteers are nailing plywood, installing roof elements known as fascia and soffit, painting interior and exterior surfaces, laying floors, and installing kitchen and bathroom cabinets. They’re also doing landscape work, including the placement of sod.
Construction of a typical Habitat home takes 22 to 27 weeks. The organization uses professional subcontractors for all electrical work, plumbing, air conditioning, drywall, stucco and concrete jobs, including the slab, sidewalks and the driveway.
“Experience is helpful but not necessary,” said Joe Moran, vice president of construction for Habitat for Humanity. “Our site supervisors provide daily training to enable all volunteers to perform each task.”