BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – In Monroe County, one in five people are living in poverty, the highest percentage in Indiana, according to a Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County statistic. In an effort to support the community she lives in, Lacey Causseaux, Browning Day’s Director of Interior Design, is trading in her laptop for a hard hat and joining the next Women Build.
The Habitat for Humanity Women Build promotes the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat houses. The program, which is in its 18th year, brings women from around the area together to fundraise and build homes for two deserving families in need of affordable housing. To build the two homes, it will take 11 build days, 325 volunteer builders, 3,200 volunteer hours, and $170,000 to purchase land and materials. This year’s builds are for single mothers, and these future homeowners work alongside the volunteer teams.
“It’s really fun to build side by side with them,” Causseaux said. “You feel really committed to these families and their journey and proud to share this process with them.”
Causseaux says she got involved for a few reasons. Growing up in Bloomington and living there as an adult, she is committed to the community. At the same time, she sees the challenges of the rising prices of housing. Another influencer to Lacey in many ways is her mom. As a mortgage lender, Lacey’s mom talks about how she loves her job because of the role she can play in people’s lives as they are establishing their home.
“Being in commercial architecture and design, you are removed from that personal relationship with people in their home”, she said. “For me, I enjoy that this opportunity allows me to make a connection to what I do professionally to the community I live in.”
Causseaux comes from a family of women, including sisters, three daughters and five nieces. She says she chose to join the Women Build program because it’s a good reminder that women can do hard things, and there are always people in the community who are willing to teach you a new skill.
“This allows you to be a part of a bigger community and you just have to show up,” Causseaux says. “Through team leaders and resources, you make a contribution of time and sweat but you walk away with making a difference in these people’s lives and in the community you live in.”
For a second year, Causseaux joined a team made up of some of her longstanding female clients at Indiana University. Her team’s dedicated work day is on May 4, and they will install windows, doors and shingles.
“I really value their friendship and partnership,” she said of her team members. “It’s great they established something that was important to them, and it’s something equally important to me. We kind of aligned in a way that we could both build upon together.”
Learn more about Women Build here: https://monroecountyhabitat.org/women-build-2018/.