Habitat for Humanity building St. Louis homes with first volunteers since pandemic

Habitat has big post-pandemic plans for The Gate District.

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — A sure sign of recovery from the pandemic can be seen along Park Avenue east of Grand in south St. Louis' Gate District.

Sandwiched between two century-old brick homes, Habitat for Humanity volunteers work below ground level on the foundations for two brand new homes being built this year.

In fact, it's the first time Habitat of St. Louis has been able to use skilled volunteers since the pandemic started.

"Last week we poured the footings, and this week we're building the walls and pouring the walls," Clayco Executive Vice President Tom Sieckhaus told KMOX. Clayco is supplying volunteers for the project through the Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI).

These two homes are just two of the properties Habitat currently owns in The Gate District.

"Habitat has five houses in the neighborhood, and we're hoping to have seven more," says Director of Development Harper Zielonko. "It's centrally located in the city, close to transit lines, universities, and hospitals where our homebuyers work. We want them to be close to resources and this is a highly sought after neighborhood."

These two homes are accounted for, and Zielonko says there's a waiting list for future homes.

"That shows the demand and need in our community for affordable housing options."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Tom Franklin/KMOX