By: Connor McBee

AmeriCorps NCCC team Oak 2 has been serving in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a six-week project with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. This is the first project for Oak 2 since arriving in February to begin their service with AmeriCorps NCCC.

Milwaukee Habitat is engaging in the Midtown 100, an ambitious objective to serve 100 families in the Midtown neighborhood within the years of 2018 to 2020. This includes building 65 new homes, 20 critical home repairs, and 15 home rehabs. This neighborhood revitalization project aims to combat Milwaukee’s affordable housing crisis by more than doubling the number of families that Habitat serves each year. Oak 2 will be aiding in the construction in six of those new homes and serving in the Habitat ReStore in Wawatosa.

Oak 2 has completed the construction of three out of the six new homes and has begun on the next three. This process involves framing the exterior walls and raising them on both the first and second floors, framing and positioning the interior walls, covering the exterior walls in Tyvek HomeWrap and sheets of vinyl siding, setting in windows, framing and raising the roof gables, and positioning the roof trusses.

“Serving with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity has been one of the most rewarding service projects I have done so far,” says Oak 2 team leader Michelle McAuliffe, of Long Island, New York. “I can now honestly say that if I wanted to I could build my own house, which is so incredible! The staff with Milwaukee Habitat--including other volunteers--welcomed us with open arms and truly made Oak 2 feel like family! We’re all extremely sad to go on such a short notice but also very excited to Get Things Done for the survivors of the historic flooding in Omaha, Nebraska.”

Flexibility is the key in AmeriCorps NCCC and last week Oak 2 experienced this first hand when they were pulled from their project in Milwaukee and deployed to Omaha, Nebraska to aid in emergency recovery efforts due to the recent flooding across the Midwest. They are working with International Orthodox Christian Charities and are mucking, gutting and removing debris from homes across the greater Omaha area impacted by the flooding..

Team members John and Trevor building 2x4 wall sections.

Oak 2 in front of a partially-completed Habitat home after a hard day’s work.

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