Bridge Equity Group recently had the pleasure of helping the local Habitat for Humanity team do construction work on their Silicon Valley project located at 1081 Palm St, San Jose. This house is a complete remodel sitting a mile away from the downtown. On this particular day, work was being done to prepare the roof for new shingles, as well as a complete seismic retrofit. We accomplished most of our goals, however there is much work that still needs to be done.
I was assigned the task of trimming out the wood above the mudsill to make the wall surfaces flat. Once the wood surfaces were flush, we began mounting LPF4 brackets every 24 inches along the perimeter of the house. In addition to the LPF4 brackets, larger brackets were screwed into both the concrete foundation and mudsill every 36 inches. Finally, additional fixtures were mounted on top of the mudsill (and screwed in to the concrete foundation) to keep the house from lifting vertically in a quake. I am very confident that this house won’t go anywhere in the largest earthquake!
What follows is a little history about this wonderful organization. In 1976, Millard and Linda Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity. The concept was to build homes for low-income families, where the families themselves worked alongside volunteers to construct their homes. The idea for partnership housing came from Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia that was founded in 1942. In this model, homes are not given to low-income families for free. Rather, families are provided no interest loans to help purchase the properties they also help to build. Funds to provide these no interest loans come from the homeowner’s loan payments, no interest loans from supporters and fund raising activities.
Today, Habitat for Humanity is a global organization that has helped build or repair over 800,000 houses and served more than 4 million people all over the world. There are 1400 local affiliates ad 70 national organizations around the globe working for this noble cause. To learn more, including how to donate time and/or money, visit the website at www.habitat.org.