PORT CHARLOTTE — It’s usually quiet along Port Charlotte’s Sherbourne Street.
There’s thick, tall brush, and a few streets with homes lining the road. You’d expect the same quiet environment turning onto Spartonvail Avenue. But this week, residents are greeted with a medley of hammers and power saws, dozens of pickup trucks with supplies, wood, hardware, appliances, anything to build a home, and roughly 100 crew members.
There’s bare wood standing upright in five lots, the bones of soon-to-be donated houses. Insulation is being installed in one house, roof decking on another. One near the end of the street was already getting paint on Tuesday.
But just two days ago, there wasn’t much except concrete slabs.
“It’s chaos,” said Erika Kucks, a representative with AmeriCorps who is volunteering with Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity.
Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity is holding its 2019 Home Builders Blitz this week, where five local builders will construct five homes for five families in five days. Each builder — Ander Jackson Construction, Coastal Property Group of Florida, Florida Premiere Contractors, Harbor Home Builders and Truex Preferred Construction — donated their time and labor for the initiative.
“It’s stressful at the time, but everyone is working together,” said Mike Mansfield, the CEO for Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity. “It’s amazing to me people care so much.”
One contractor, Ander Jackson Construction, has a crew of seven people working on a house. For the past two days, the crew has come to the site at 5:30 a.m. and left around 7 p.m.
“We’re almost over the hump,” said Ander Jackson, the owner of the construction company. Jackson joined the Blitz because Habitat for Humanity “does a lot for a lot of people.”
And though each builder has a house, “everyone is asking each other for help,” Jackson said, working together to get the five homes completed.
The event has a strict daily schedule to ensure the houses obtain the necessary inspections before work can proceed. The Charlotte County Building Department assigned two inspectors to be on site to inspect as needed to keep each project on schedule.
Before the event began, each lot was cleared, with slabs and driveways poured, septic systems installed, wells drilled and sod installed, according to the organization’s development coordinator, Jan Nick. All five lots were donated by a family in December, 2017.
Each house should be finished by Friday, Sept. 13. Habitat for Humanity will then hold a dedication Saturday at 10 a.m., where the families will move into their newly built homes.
The public can help by contacting Charlotte County’s Habitat for Humanity office at 941-639-3162 to volunteer at their build sites, their resale stores or attend one of their special events.