Thursday, November 15, 2007


We are so excited to announce that the Pride Build has received an exciting anonymous pledge of $5000! If we can raise an additional $5000 toward our goal of $60,000, our anonymous community angels will match the success with a gift of $5000. Spread the word!

Day Nine...incredible progress!

It was amazing to see the visual progress made between 8am and 4pm this past Saturday. When our team of 18 volunteers began, the interior of Marta's home had no flooring or cabinets, her porch no railing, and her yard no fence. All that was changed by the end of the day - incredible progress that puts the Pride Build right on target to hand Marta her keys at the dedication on December 8th. Mark your calendars, it will be quite a party ~ Saturday, December 8th at 3 PM at Marta's new home.

See below for pictures of the progress ~ though the image isn't great, look for the reference to Equality issues in the design of the porch railing. Courtesy of Jillian, The build's talented Americorps leader.

This was University day - special thanks to all the students who came out from St. Edward's, UT, and ACC. Regular Pride Build volunteer and St. Ed's student Antowan Jones led the charge with a challenge to his University peers ~ thanks to everyone for braving 8 am on a Saturday.

Lunch couldn't have come quicker, because we all knew where it was coming from. Through the generosity of the fabulous folks from Home Slice, we were all treated to the best pizza in town!

Finally, I'm excited to announce an exciting Anonymous Challenge Grant to the Pride Build! Some folks from the community have pledged $5000 if we can raise funds to match it. This would bring us to our $60,000 goal ~ This is an ideal time to reach out to your circles of influence for support of our historic build!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Proclamation: Pride Build Day in Austin!

On Thursday, Austin City Council proclaimed November 1 'Habitat Pride Build Day' here in Austin. Brought forth by council member Jennifer Kim, this was a wonderful honor - one that truly befits the community-building spirit we sought to capture with this project. See pictures of the proclamation and the presentation below (click on the proclamation and it will expand for easier reading). I hope to have a link with video footage soon.

Onward, Saturday's eighth build day went very well. The interior of Marta's house is really beginning to take shape, and the Habitat folks inform us that tile should be laid this week.
This was a potluck lunch week - thank you to Beth Krueger and Bettie Naylor for helping provide a great lunch. At lunch all volunteers gathered to hear Bettie read the Proclamation from city council.

Here's the progress:

- Hung all doors, and door trim installed

- Installed cleats for shelves in pantry

- Primed the walls

- Primed the interior trim
- Assembled cabinets

- Readied floors for tiles

- Sheetrocked hot water heater closet

- Caulked battens

- Touched up exterior paint

That's all for now - and don't forget to spread the word about the
100 CLUB!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A busy week 7!

Week 7 saw three full build days, thanks to the wonderful volunteer crew from 3M on Wednesday and the second build day for the DELL group on Friday. By the time Saturday rolled around, enough work had been done to enable the sheet rock process to begin ~ one which, to my surprise, drew much anticipation and excitement (a direct quote from one volunteer: "Tell me when the drywall goes up, and I'm there.") I'm told this will continue through this next Saturday, so for you junkies out there, this may be your last chance (this year.)

A gracious thanks go out to the folks at Las Manitas for providing lunch!

I wasn't able to join the build on Saturday, so thank you to Jillian from Americorps and project lead Lauren for providing updates and photos. Here's the report on progress:

- We continued caulking and painting on both the house and shed
- Started sheet rocking of ceilings and walls (we didn’t finish but this was the majority of the days work)

- We worked on some of the house trim

- Finished soffit over the porch

- Replaced some kitchen and bath blocking

- During the week they finished battens, installed porch soffit (the roof of the porch which includes battens), soffit on the back of the house, anchor bolts on base plates, installed 2 more porch posts.

We are making great progress on the 100 Club ~ but as we push to our $60,000 goal we encourage you to continue to spread the word to your circles. 100 donors and we're finished!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

And on the sixth day...

Day 6 was a fantastic build day - crisp, clear and the first that felt like Autumn. More than any yet, this Saturday had me thinking about the true meaning of home. Of the multitudes of cliches - where you hang your head, where the heart is - one thread weaves its way through them all. Home is about people, community, and above all, belonging. It is about place, both literal and figurative.

Special thanks to the folks at the Transgender Association of Central Texas (TACT) for bringing out 7 volunteers to join in the build process, and to Rifka Reichler for organizing the crew. Our thoughts and energies are with our elected leaders this week as they prepare their vote on ENDA and the Baldwin Amendment ~ may they have the strength to recognize the values and protections of all citizens under just law.

Off the soapbox and back to the build, here's a list of the day's accomplishments:
- Marta's shed. A committed group, led in part by Pride Build co-chair David Smith, put up the shed in record time.
- Blocking for insulation
- Nail Plates
- Finished Battens
- Siding on the front porch
- More soffit
- J channels
- Insulated pipes in the ceilings and exterior walls
- Sheet rock in the hot water heater room

The volunteers we also treated to an amazing lunch, cooked by 5-day build regular Brian Sharp. Brian started cooking mid-week, and brought a full spread of Indian food to feed all 30 on site. The food was fantastic - the effort, though, even more impressive. Thank you Brian for making 6906 Villita Cove your home for all these weeks!

And finally, a quick tribute to our project leads. Every week, 4 volunteer leaders guide us through the process of building a home for Marta. More than just their skills, these leads have truly set the tone for the Pride Build, and it has been inspiring to work alongside them through this experience. Thank you Deanna, Lauren, Leslee and Robin - we'll get a group photo one of these days.

As always, Don't forget to spread the word about the 100 club.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hitting the halfway mark...ahead of schedule!

The sign went up at the Pride Build on Day 5 - driving along Villita Cove one can officially call our build the 2007 Pride Build! Thank you to MCC-Austin for their sponsorship of the day, to the generous folks at Magnolia Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard for donating lunch, and to the 18 volunteers who came at 8 am to tackle a wide spectrum of tasks.

Thanks to the vast experience of project lead Lauren Nichols (one of our 4 extraordinary leads), you no longer have to suffer through my attempts at home building speak. I can now offer accurate terminology for Day 5's accomplishments.

Among the day's feats:

- Finishing panel siding and lap siding
- Putting up the J-channel
- Installing the Soffit
- FInalizing the window and door trim

It was especially exciting to have Marta on the site working with us all day! Marta was able to arrange for her Saturdays to be free for the remainder of the build, and we're honored to have her join us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Best Hammers of Justice: Austin Pride Build 2007

Congratulations to everyone on being named to the Austin Chronicle's Best of Austin 2007 list! Click Here to read the details.

In the meantime, the wonderful folks from Austin Roofing & Siding, led by David Rehberg, came out this week to install the standing seam metal roof for Marta's home. Below are a few pictures of the process.

We still have space for volunteers tomorrow, so feel free to email me at if you can join us!