Last fall, more than a dozen Shelter Island High School students slept outside in cardboard boxes to raise money and awareness for the housing crisis of the working poor. Recently a crew of 15, including National Honor Society members and friends, traveled to Bay Shore in a neighborhood where Habitat for Humanity is building four new homes on land donated by the town, revitalizing the neighborhood.
The Shelter Island team arrived with new tools from Home Depot, courtesy of a generous grant from the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church.
In no time, they donned goggles, gloves, aprons and hard hats and set to work on installing drywall. By day’s end the group had completed several closets, a bedroom, and the living room ceiling. Build leaders Joe and Jim, and Americorp volunteer Zoe said that they were the best student group they have ever had.
To qualify for a habitat home, a family must make half of the average income in their township, have no debt, and complete 300 hours of sweat equity by working in their home or the homes of other Habitat families.
In exchange, they receive an interest free mortgage for the cost of materials only, as labor is donated.
Submitted by Janine Mahoney