Women Build: Habitat for Humanity event in Arizona boosts homeownership for single mothers

Habitat's Women Build returns after pandemic, sees largest turn out
Posted at 8:34 AM, Mar 14, 2022

MARANA, Ariz. — Habitat for Humanity Tucson's 21st Women Build event was the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and its largest event yet.

More than 70 women came out to help build homes in Marana, Arizona, over the weekend.

Habitat for Humanity Tucson's Women Build initiative aims to assist women and single mothers in their quest for homeownership.

"Women Build is all about women empowering women, especially in construction and homeownership," said Laura Sanchez of Habitat for Humanity.

One of the homes volunteers helped build 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 Legal Momentum, a nonprofit, women in the U.S. are 35% more likely to live in poverty than men. Single mothers face an even higher 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."

Stories like Miller's are why Habitat for Humanity Tucson started Women Build 25 years ago.

"(It) 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. That way, they can pursue it as a career if they choose.

"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.

This story was originally published by Perla Shaheen on Scripps station KGUN in Tucson, Arizona.