Tag Archives: friends

Pictures of Homeless Friends

Some of our homeless friends, most of whom have been mentioned in  previous posts, agreed to have their pictures posted in this space.   It was a great leap for Mark, who had come out to have breakfast with Scott and Carolyn this morning.   Someone had woke him up and he was a bit annoyed about “being bossed around” but ate ravenously of the food offered.  Every time he finished something, Scott was shoving another bowl or cup of coffee into his hand. Eggs, grits, muffins, coffee.  

Mark turns out to be a very good conversationalist once he gets to know you, but a lot of things turn out to be “a long story” that he won’t go into.  Mark is still a little nervous and has not given me permission to share anything but general information, but we talked for almost two hours.   If he had not been pushed into getting breakfast with us, “important people might have come by and taken him home”, but he really was ravenous.  He was a bit afraid he would miss them.   He doesn’t like people telling him what to do, has a couple of “angels” from the Church of God that regularly visit him trying to get him to seek help.   Mark said he has been homeless maybe 1 or 2 years.  I don’t really think he knows.

He says the police have made him move three times in the past week.  They’ve taken his stuff but left him behind, or when he was out of stuff, simply told him to go somewhere else.   So he moves around, but always nearby.   Some of the other homeless affectionately call him “Moses” but they all help look after him.  Mark wears a short ponytail in his beard and says he another in the back, but he did not show it.

Mark does not understand why those that don’t bother anybody can’t just be left alone, but he claims Scott as a friend who has “known me a long time,” and seems to be coming out of his shell with the extra attention.

Below are some pictures.  There were other homeless there, but some don’t want to be pictured.  One said he didn’t want his family to know.  “I’m not supposed to be here” meaning homeless.  They think he is working somewhere else, I believe. 

Scott            Steve              Guy             Mark              Steve W.

Scott provided the food and shirts (hanging on fence).  The gentleman on the far right is the same Steve that was featured in the video in my last post, “Marietta Homeless Steve Talks about Mark,”  the same Mark standing next to him.   Everything Mark is wearing is recently donated. 

Guy has been homeless only 3 weeks.   I liked him immediately.   Actually I liked them all immediately!   The sign says “This walkway is provided by Cobb EMC for access to the MUST/Urban Action Facilities.  (Travel at own risk)”  The sidewalk is not on the road right-of-way, but the homeless get rousted out anyway.

I was asked by Steve (with the cup) to thank Cobb EMC for the use of the paved walkway and for the access they have granted.  He recognizes the public service Cobb EMC has done here.   Steve has a 2 year and a 4 year education in N.C. and often gives legal advice.  He is writing a “coffee table” book and has written several letters to the local news editor, none published.

Major

Major was in the earlier video also, but was seen only briefly. The bible in his pocket goes wherever he goes.

Guy with Elizabeth

Both are homeless.  Elizabeth was named after Elizabeth Inn.  Mark calls her his cat, but in truth, I think she is loved by all the homeless in the area.

 

Al, our Poet

Al is a homeless veteran, still waiting for his papers, but they are in route.  The donated cap is Navy, but he was actually Army.   This picture was taken last week at our church.

Oldtimer

 

OUCH! Our Habitat Homeowner Robbed of Belongings

Homeowner, Joi.  What a nice Smile.I found out today that Joi (photo), our future homeowner of the Habitat for Humanity house we are building for her in Mableton, Georgia, had her furniture and other belongings stored in a storage locker while waiting for her new home to be built.  

 She worked on the house with us Saturday, only to find out later that her storage locker, along with 17 others, was broken into over the weekend.   She is devastated at this bad news.   What should have been a happy occasion is now ripped to shreds by scum-of-the-earth thieves.

There is some help coming in the form of Pat of our church that owns a home staging company.  She had already planned to rally our church members and her business associates to  donate furniture to Joi and to stage her new home.   Now it looks like we need to  come up with even more.   Stay tuned.  If you would like to help with monetary donations, contact the PCCH site (also there is a link on the side bar) or Pat at pshankle@georgiahomestaging.com . 

We don’t have a procedure yet, but the PCCH is a 501 corporation through the church and it should be counted as a donation there.   Checks to them need to be made to “First Presbyterian Church, Marietta” and marked “Habitat donation for Joi” mail to: First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church Street, Marietta, GA  30060-1629, attention “Habitat Mission, Bob White”.    

Anything that comes through me or Pat would need to be made out to “Macland Presbyterian Church”, and marked “Habitat donation for Joi”, mail to: Macland Presbyterian Church, 3615 Macland Road • Powder Springs, Ga • 30127-1336 , attention: “Habitat Missions Team”,   If you live in the area and want to make furniture or other physical donations, contact Pat or the PCCH, or let me know through a comment and I’ll contact you by email.

Such thieves are trully miseable excuses for human beings.   

Click For all Habitat Articles  and more pictures of Joi and the progress being made.  

Good Start – Pictures

Our Habitat LogoHere are a few of Saturday’s Pictures from the first day’s build.   These are 8 from a total of 52 taken that day.   The date is May 5th, 2007.  The location, Mableton, Cobb County, Georgia.   The sponsors and builders are Presbyterian Coalition Cobb Habitat for Humanity, a group of 10 Presbyterian Churches.   Our 21st house in Cobb. 

To get a full screen view or to download any of the pictures that follow, go to the post above, “Slide Show – Pictures” and click on the picture and then select the “all sizes” icon (magnifying glass – any size you want up to full page. 

 A Good Start

Good Start!  I’d call this a Good Start.  This first picture was taken at 8:30 AM.   There are two plates still tacked together, and work in progress on a number of others.  Look around and you will see other Habitat houses in various stages of construction.   Cobb Habitat bought the land for a subdivision of 50 homes here in Cobb County GA.    Look carefully and you may see some of the markings on the floor and on the plates.  Volunteers split the plates apart and start nailing in studs, windows, doors and T’s where marked.   Everybody has fun.

 First Wall UP

 First Wall UP!  The lady in pink is our very excited homeowner – Joi.  The first wall up is a celebration and a great photo opportunity for everyone with a camera.   The time was 9:30AM

Moving On! 

Moving ON!   The walls have been built.  The interior walls are in the foregroud and the exterior ones either up or behind the slab.   The time is 10:05 AM

 Joi  My Walls!

 MY Walls!   Joi, our happy and always smiling homeowner.

 Start OSB

First Sheet of OSB after walls are squared.   Notice all the ladies admiring the work.  They put a lot of them up after being shown how.   Time is 1:06PM just after lunch.

Ladders UP!

Ladders UP!   Joi  (pink shirt) is right up there with them, putting on blocking. Portions have been capped.  The beam pocket (front right corner) has been carved out but not re-framed.

 Jeff and Pretty Boy

 Jeff and Pretty Boy.  “Pretty Boy” Miller AKA “Nine Fingers” (in the suspenders)  talking to Jeff, our SPM.  Bob is coming up with a ball of string to help straighten a wall.   Behind them is the food tent, and a tool storage locker, behind Bob.  Further back another group is finishing up shingles on a roof. 

 Finishing UP 

 Finishing Up.  The last piece of OSB is being prepared for over the front door.  That and cleanup will finish the first day of work.  Good Job!  Good Job Everyone!   This pictures was taken at 4:33 PM.

A Very Good Start

Our Habitat LogoToday was a great day to build a house.   Our Presbyterian Coalition Habitat for Humanity build got off to a very good start – walls up, squared and covered.   The weather was just perfect.  Cool, overcast and not as humid as it should have been considering it rained during the night.   We had perhaps 35 to 40 people show up – smaller than normal, but considering the rain during the night drove a few away, it was more than enough to get the day’s job done.   We build rain or shine and many dedicated volunteers will slug through downpours and deep mud all day for the joy of helping.  Others will look out the window, see the ground wet and say “They’ve got to be kidding.”  

The day always starts with a little talk by the site project manager  (SPM).  The talk has a little of everything – a little orientation for first-timers, a little pep talk to wake us up, a good safety presentation for everyone, and a brief introduction of the various crew chiefs and an outline of what he expected to be accomplished.   A coalition member provides a prayer and then we start work.    Everyone on site today was a volunteer.  Everyone.

First order of business is to build the walls.   The wall plates have already been put together the previous weekend.   At that time, the slab was laid out with colored marking for where the walls go.   The technique is for the SPM and a few volunteers to use the house plans to mark all the walls on the floor, then cut 2×4 boards to match the plan and lay them out on the floor.    Matching top plates are placed on top and the top and bottom plates are then tacked together with nails.   Then the location of all the studs, doors and windows are marked on the bottom plates (pressure treated wood) and also on the top plates (white wood).  The plates and the floor are numbered so volunteers that come for build-day can simply begin pounding nails into studs placed on the marks.   That pounding part we did today.

The previous weekend the SPM and the volunteers also had a little extra help and time on their hands so they had also built all the door and window headers and attached the side studs.   Often that is done by the volunteers on the first build day.  Since we had fewer than normal due to the overnight sprinkle, having the window and door frames ready was a very big help.  

First Wall Photo OP.  So the walls were built on the floor, then carried off the slab and piled up haphazardly into two stacks,  exterior and interior.   Once all the exterior walls were finished, the first wall section was carried back in and the “first-wall-up celebration and photo opportunity” was announced.   The homeowner (in this case Joi) is always allowed to put in the first nail in the first wall and as many as have cameras get a good shot.   I have pictures and will share them in the next post.  Walls on a slab such as this one have a foam-like material attached to the bottom plate (pressure treated wood).  Then they are nailed down with wedge-shaped nails (called cut-nails) designed to lock into concrete.

At some point the exterior walls are nearly complete and the remaining interior walls are carried onto the slab so they don’t get fenced outside.   Today we brought too many inside and ending up carrying three or four back out and around the building because they belonged in the store room and/or the laundry room which are in a wing already outside the walls that were already up.   Volunteers are never happy unless they are either toting something or pounding nails, so this is a not a problem.

Devotional and Lunch   As noon approached, the cry was – “No food until all the walls are up!”   However it worked out that we were standing around for the devotional at 12 noon and the walls were all up.  The church that provided food today was First Presbyterian.  They usually provide the first build-day lunch because they are the biggest of our churches and the build day usually has the most people show up.   There is always a short devotional talk followed by a prayer asking blessing of the food.   Some of the more experienced volunteers bring soft fold-up chairs.  Everyone else finds a lumber pile, window sill or a cool place to sit.    Eat, chat, rest, then back to work.

Squaring the Corners.  When all the walls were up, the SPM and a few experienced volunteers squared the corners with levels and cross braces to get the corners exactly vertical in all directions.  Part of the process of squaring the corners involves putting OSB (4×8 sheets of sheathing) in the corners to keep them straight.    Then crews are sent around the entire house to finish covering the outside walls.   Two volunteers were assigned to reopen the doors and windows with a saws-all.  Essentially they go inside and cut the sheathing out of the windows and doors after others cover them up.   

Small Work Crew Activity.   Also there were a number of small crews doing specialized work – such as putting blocking on the side walls for nailing the bottoms of the roof trusses and for providing a nailing shelf for sheet rock on the ceiling around the perimeter.   There was also a crew putting on Z flashing around the bottom of the walls to set the sheathing in.   Each bottom of each piece of sheathing is set into a channel of metal that has a bed of silicone caulk to seal it from any weather leaks.  Another crew or two is moving around the house on ladders putting on a cap plate on all the walls to tie them together and to provide a strong resting place for the roof trusses to come later.  Others were simply picking things up or sweeping out anything accumulating on the floor or running the “chop saw”.  

Saw Man.  The chop saw work is always a dedicated “saw man”, in this case, “Pretty Boy” Miller, AKA “Nine Fingers” our most beloved SPM from previous builds who is helping us today by special request.  The official SPM for this site is “Be Safe – Have Fun” Jeff Vanderlip who brought along his wife and son.

Straighten the Walls  Two small crews were detailed to “straighten the walls”.   That involves placing blocks on each outside top corner of the house, tying string from block to block, then using a  ladder and a block of wood to gauge the wall spacing to the string at various points and then adjusting them with braces to get them absolutely straight.

Porch Beam Pockets.   Someone forgot to provide porch beam pockets during layout so those had to be cut out with a saws-all and re-framed.   Just a few minutes extra work.   The pockets are rectangular openings that allow the front porch beams to extend well into the frame of the house so that they are well anchored and will never be able to pull away.  The porch beams for the two sides were slid in, leveled and braced.  

End of Day  The day ended about 5 PM with all the walls up and covered and all tools put away and the site cleaned of any left over debris.  Next week will be rafter day – actually these are prebuilt engineered trusses that are made off-site and trucked in.   One of the things we did today was to install a temporary cross walk across the main family room to help the truss walkers to get back and forth somewhat safely  “up there”.   Next weekend we will put them in place, install cross bracing, deck the roof and dry it in, ready for shingles.   Maybe even shingle it. 

Always Something New.   Every build has a new feature or new challenge to overcome.  This time we were pleasantly surprised at the retainer wall.   It is beautiful –  attractive engineered blocks of stone to create a retainer wall for the house next door which sits above “ours”.   Out of the 20 homes we have built previously, we have always contended with graded slopes between houses or between yards.  The retaining wall is a nice feature.   I understand we will have some changes in the way we do the trusses (engineered steel spacers) and a different design for the trusses.   New features added in previous years include tapered round columns instead of rectangular posts for porches, Hardi-plank siding instead of vinyl, bigger floor plans, engineered trusses, engineered floor joists, Z flashing, and a number of neat improvements in design and detail to make the homes more distinct and attractive.

Stay Tuned.   Selected pictures for the first day to follow in the next post!  I have 92, but they take up more than 250MB and so you will need to be satisfied with a few reduced format samples.

Habitat House – Dinner on the Slab

Dinner on the Slab was just perfect.  Perfect weather, perfiect food, perfect slab – really best concrete work any of us had ever seen.  Almost polished looking.  Flat, square, and smooth.  Good freinds, homeowner, neighborhood kids, crew chief, site manager, Coalition members.  

Here are a few pictures. 

Dinner on the Slab

The Dinner Party with materials for the house stacked around.  Neighbor houses in various levels of completion.   Habitat for Humanity is building 50 homes in this neighborhood.  

 Homeowner Joi

Homeowner Joi   Just look at that smile!

Neighbor youngster

A picture no one could resist.   This youngster lives next door and we invited him and his two brothers to eat with us.  All he had to say was Mmmmmmm good!

Tonight we partied – fine wine, beer, great food, great people.  Tomorrow we build!  Tomorrow a new home for Joi will begin to take shape.