Re-Introducing Women Build Initiative in SLO County

Building Joy in SLO County

Eleven women chose to spend a Saturday making a significant difference in the lives of two local families in SLO County. These compassionate volunteers built two playhouses, providing creative and fun spaces for children to call their own. This project marked the revival of the Women Build initiative in the area, showcasing the power of women joining together to enact positive change.

Michelle McCovey Good, T&S Structural President, said, “It was super inspiring to see women of all backgrounds and generations come together with their skills and creativity to put together the playhouses. I would definitely encourage other businesses to sponsor a playhouse build. The theme of “everyone deserves to play” is a unique concept that we frequently overlook.  It was great to celebrate the joy that the playhouse will bring to a local child.”

This project was possible with the generous support of T & S Structural, Morris & Garritano Insurance, Lucy’s Coffee Co., and Mr. Pickles. Sponsorships are vital to Habitat SLO’s work. McCovey-Good shared, “Habitat SLO is a unique entity in our county, who rarely qualifies, or is awarded the community grants that other affordable housing organizations utilize to build multifamily dwellings.  Therefore, Habitat is completely dependent upon local donors, some state grants, and the revenue from the Restores to fund their builds.  The work Habitat does changes the lives of local families who would otherwise not be able to ever experience home ownership in our community.  It is an effort worth supporting to help maintain the economic vitality of our County.”

Volunteer Sign-Ups Online Now Available

Introducing our new volunteer and donor management system

Step 1: Visit our volunteer portal

Step 2: Create an account

Click on the “Sign Up” button and create your user profile. By creating an account, you’ll be able to see your personal volunteer schedule, track your hours, view your giving history, and browse upcoming opportunities.

In addition, the application and waiver process has been simplified. The system will automatically maintain your personal details, waivers, and forms. You’ll receive automated emails when any materials need to be updated, and you’ll be able to sign them easily online.

Step 3: Explore available shifts

Once you’re logged in, navigate to the “Volunteer Opportunities” page. Here, you’ll find a list of available shifts, including dates, times, and project descriptions. You can sort by campaign, location, date and time, and more.

Choosing “Available” under the “Availability” drop down will display unfulfilled shifts that are ready for a volunteer. Choose the shift that aligns with your interests and availability.

Step 4: Reserve your spot

Once you’ve clicked “Select” the system will prompt you to complete your user profile details. This information will be pre-filled for you when you sign up for future shifts.

Step 5: Get ready to make a difference

You’ll receive a confirmation email with the details of your shift. Dress comfortably, wear closed-toe shoes, and bring your enthusiasm!

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. Your dedication and support are invaluable in helping us build strength, stability, and self-reliance through homeownership. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of local families.


Spotlight on Volunteer Pat Crowe & Homeowner Selection Committee

Homeowner Selection Process

One important step during a Habitat building project is the Homeowner Selection, which is supported by a very special set of volunteers. Once homeowner applications are reviewed to confirm the preliminary requirements for partnership with Habitat have been met, a home visit and interview by one of our trained and dedicated homeowner selection committee (HSC) volunteers is scheduled. This home visit is designed to allow Habitat to gather more information about the family’s housing need, their ability to repay an affordible mortgage, and their willingness to partner with Habitat.

While committee volunteers do not make the final decision in the homeowner selection process, they provide an invaluable service by getting to know prospective partner families and identifying any support needs if they are selected.

The heart of successful interviews

This summer we completed the application and selection process for our nine home project on Vine St. in Paso Robles. At the heart of successful applicant interviews are the volunteers, like Pat Crowe, was a remarkable addition to the HSC and brought with her valuable experience, as she served on the committee during our last build project. Pat has a unique vantage point since she collaborated with our last group of partner families from application to moving in. We are so appreciative of her contributions, and for the many years she has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity SLO County.

Read more about our interview with Pat below.

Pat Crowe: Local Realtor and longtime Habitat volunteer

Q: What do you love about Habitat?

A: Having been a local Realtor for the past 40 years, I know firsthand how costly it is to live in our County. Rents are extremely high and homeownership is out of reach for a large percentage of our population. It delights me that Habitat gives families possibly their only opportunity to go from being renters to becoming homeowners.

Q: What was the highlight of your experience as a volunteer?

A: There are two highlights. The first is when I have the opportunity to meet with each family in person. Because they never imagined they’d have the opportunity to become homeowners, listening to their personal stories and their dreams of homeownership is extremely touching.

The second is attending the ceremony when the families are handed the door keys to their very own homes. Their joy at entering the homes that they helped build is hard to put into words.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is new to volunteering with Habitat?

A: Be compassionate, genuine, and open minded. Give yourself the opportunity to sincerely “tune in” to the families’ stories so they are left feeling cared about and welcomed.

When asked to describe herself or her interests, Pat was proud to mention she and her husband have a diverse, multi-cultural family, and remarked that she joined the HSC in 2006. She also identified herself as authentic, compassionate and open-minded, and our experience serving local families alongside Pat confirms she displays all of these attributes and more. Thank you for your scincere and generous commitment to the residents of San Luis Obispo County through the programs of Habitat for Humanity, Pat!