Building a brighter future with Women+ Community Days

Women are building the future out at Century Commons, Habitat’s future 18-home community in Hillsboro’s Reedville neighborhood.  

On March 16, 34 women-identifying folks from the community and various organizations sported their hard hats and vests for Habitat’s annual Women+ Community Day build. Our women staff and regular volunteers taught the new volunteers how to safely operate construction tools and help build the framework of this up-and-coming community.  

Joanna, who volunteered at the Women+ Community Day build, said she got involved with Habitat a few years ago when she and her husband moved from California to Portland.  

“I found I was really connecting to the mission, vision, and spirit of Habitat,” she said. “And the community of women here is amazing.”  

Habitat’s Women+ Community Days program provides critical resources to create affordable homeownership opportunities for women and their families. Women+ Community Days volunteers learn new skills, build, and teach others — all while working in a supportive and empowering environment. 

Habitat’s Women+ Community Days actively welcome and support all those who self-identify as women, including trans women, and other woman-aligned groups. 

During the build event, volunteers learned how to operate power tools safely before starting on their tasks for the day. Once they were solid on the safety protocols, they worked to frame seven interior walls, getting them all the way to the point of being able to stand up. Additionally, they built two benches for homebuyers to use once they move into the community.  

Allison and Cara from MWA Architects attended the event to see how a Habitat build process works.  

“It’s empowering, it feels good,” Allison said. “It’s nice to see so many first timers out here using new tools and skills.”  

Housing affordability is a crucial women’s issue; women — particularly women of color — face disproportionate access to opportunity, which can affect their ability to find a decent place to live. 

In 2022, the average single mother household’s income was $36,338. Between 2016 and 2021, the median home sales prices citywide increased 17% to reach $525,000 in 2021. 

Habitat for Humanity Portland Region is proud to report that nearly 40% of our homeowners are single mothers. After building and purchasing an affordable home through Habitat, women build strength, stability and self-reliance for themselves and their entire family.    

Through build site experiences and educational programming, Women+ Community Days encourages volunteers and financial supporters to challenge stereotypes, fight all forms of inequality, and advocate for themselves and each other. 

To learn more about Habitat’s Women+ Community Days program, and to become a volunteer, visit https://habitatportlandregion.org/volunteer/womencommunitydays/  

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