New Brunswick

Moncton's Habitat for Humanity spearheading home built by women

Habitat for Humanity in the Moncton area is co-ordinating a ‘women’s build’, where the money raised and physical labour will be done by women.

Campaign is first of kind in region, seeing home built by women for women

Joni Fleck Andrews said the project is about opening doors for women. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

Habitat for Humanity in the Moncton area is co-ordinating a "women's build," where the money raised and physical labour for a new home for a family in need will be done by women.

Joni Fleck Andrews, community development manager with the local Habitat for Humanity, said the project is about opening doors for women.

"Carpentry and the trades and building specifically isn't a woman-dominated field, and so the goal here has been to … empower women because there's a lot of women who are able to do a lot more but don't necessarily have the opportunity," said Andrews.

"We want to give them the ability to enter into a new environment and maybe consider working in a new trade."

The idea came from Faith Matchett, a long time Habitat for Humanity volunteer. 

Plans show the home that will be built on Ayer Avenue in Moncton. The semi-detached home will be given to two families in need, and the money raised will come from women in the community. (Tori Weldon/CBC)
"I really believe that Habitat changes lives, I've seen it in Regina, I've seen it internationally and I think we should be able to do it at home," said Matchett.

She approached Andrews with the idea, who agreed it was something that should be done in Moncton.

"We just thought we can do this," said Matchett.

The hope is that at least one side of the semi-detached home will go to a single mother.

"I think it's a cool thing for women to come together to support another woman and give her a hand up, and I also think it's a cool opportunity to actually get together and physically do something too," she said.

"It's my experience that going to build and just doing that physical labour, it's very cathartic, it's very stress-relieving and it's so much fun to come together with a good group of people to do that good work."

Money raised by women as well

The group plans to raise $100,000 by the fall, to coincide with the completion of the building. The 1,400-sq. ft. home will be built on Ayer Avenue in Moncton.

The group plans to break ground on the project on May 2.

While the project aims to get women involved in building, Fleck Andrews insists anyone interested in helping is welcome, male or female.

"We need anybody who does any kind of volunteer work possible," she said. "It could be from organizing events to just bringing your hammer and work boots and joining us for a day."