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Habitat's Women Build returns after pandemic, sees largest turn out

Habitat's Women Build returns after pandemic, sees largest turn out
Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 08:42:18-04

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s Habitat’s first Women Build since the pandemic hit, and it’s the biggest one yet. More than 70 women came to help build homes in Marana.

“Women Build is all about women empowering women especially in construction and home-ownership,” said Laura Sanchez with Habitat for Humanity.

One of those homes will belong to Charlene Miller, a single mother of two.

“It’s just going to be a life changing thing for me and my two children,” Miller said.

According to a nonprofit called Legal Momentum, women in the U.S. are 35% more likely to live in poverty than men. Single mothers face the highest risk.

“I’m not making enough," Miller said. "I was literally working three jobs at one time. So just not overworking myself and getting to this point has been a tremendous god blessing.”

That’s why Women Build began 25 years ago, with the goal of creating homes for single mothers.

“Really started with a group of women who came together to help a single mom have a home who lived in unsafe conditions," Sanchez said. "Every year it’s grown and grown.”

The program also creates a safe environment for women to learn the ins and outs of construction. This way, they could later pursue it as a career.

“Construction is a typically male-dominated field so it’s amazing to see so many women out here with hammers and hard hats,” Sanchez said.

Volunteer at habitattucson.org.

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Perla Shaheen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Perla graduated in May 2020 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Political Science. She believes storytelling has the power to bring solace, understanding, trust, and change. She has a deep curiosity of the world around her and loves diving deep into the details of any story. Share your story ideas and important issues with Perla by emailing perla.shaheen@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.