Instead of a place on the Cape this week, I'm going to write about an event. Well, it happened in a place, a very special place in Harwich, where seven new affordable homes are being built by Habitat for Humanity. One of these homes will belong to a very dear friend of mine, and her two wonderful children.
I want to write this blog about Cape Cod, but not only the beauty here, but the realities underneath it. There is an entire generation of people born and raised here that are being forced to leave due to the outrageous cost of housing. Little ramshackle non-winterized cabins going for 300K, nevermind actual 3 bedroom homes for families. I'm lucky enough that my father owns a duplex and I can rent the other side. Most of my friends my age either live with family, or in government housing.
Everything is expensive here, and unfortunately, that expense also comes with the reality of very little industry. Year round jobs are not plentiful, forcing most people to work insane hours during three months of the year in order to barely scratch by through the winter.
So in this harsh reality overlying a beautiful place, it's wonderful to be a part of the Habitat program. To see these young families have a place to call home that they can actually afford. My friends kids are going to have a yard, with a fire pit, and a place for the dog to run that's infinitely better than the tiny balcony on her current apartment.
I stood by with my friends phone, recording her raising the first wall of her new home. I watched as her seven year old and three year old chased each other around the rough plywood floors, asking where their rooms would be. I put in a few volunteer hours after the first two walls were raised and the house was blessed. I loved that every nail I hammered in was building a home for my friend and her kids.
I stood beside her and pictured the house finished. The kitchen window overlooking the backyard, where the kids can play and the dog can run. It's all torn up dirt right now, with piles of lumber and other building supplies scattered around. But I can see what it will be. It's more than just the wood and nails and dirt and effort. It's the center of life. It's a place to come back to, to rest, a safe haven. Everyone deserves to have a home.