Habitat for Humanity GTA welcomes back volunteers on build sites and at Habitat ReStores

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

With the GTA’s entrance into Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan, Habitat for Humanity GTA says it is calling on community members to volunteer. The charity recently reopened roles for volunteers on their Dalton Road build site in the Town of Georgina (six homes), CentreTowne in Oshawa (six homes), and at its Habitat ReStore locations.

New safety protocols implemented by the organization include volunteers signing a health screening form before every shift, a maximum of 10 volunteers on-site at a time, and making it mandatory to wear a mask or face covering while volunteering both indoors and outdoors.

“Safety is one of our guiding principles at Habitat for Humanity GTA, and is ingrained in our organization’s culture,” Habitat for Humanity GTA CEO Ene Underwood said in a statement. “Our volunteers are the heart, soul, and driving force of our organization. Creating a safe environment to welcome them back has been a major focus of ours since the pandemic hit.”

“Habitat for Humanity GTA mobilizes thousands of volunteers each year, building a better GTA for everyone,” the statement says. “With the limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the local organization is reaching out for volunteers to support the Habitat ReStores and build homes to enable families to move in and grow their new, inclusive community.”

“Being on the build site with Habitat for Humanity GTA during COVID-19 has been a rewarding experience,” said Nancy Constable, a community volunteer with the organization. “I have been impressed by the safety precautions put in place for distancing, cleaning, and wearing a mask. Since we have opened to new volunteers, we are providing a safety walkthrough combined with COVID-19 measures and reminders during orientations on site.”

COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the importance of having a safe, decent place to call home, Habitat for Humanity GTA says.

“With the loss of corporate volunteer groups on Habitat build sites this year, the charity’s ability to raise funds and mobilize volunteer support has been greatly impacted. Habitat for Humanity GTA is appealing to businesses and community members to get involved by volunteering or donating funds.”   No prior construction or retail experience is necessary to volunteer. Community members can sign up to volunteer online at habitatgta.volunteerhub.com.

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