Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity arms its volunteers with knowledge, tools, and new skills. Its crew of reliable AmeriCorps and Habitat staff is there to catch your dropped nails, give a word of encouragement when your sheetrock is crooked, and remind you to measure twice, cut once. They bring everything you need to get the job done.
I went into a week of volunteering with Gracenotes knowing that. I’ve admired Habitat for a long time, and lived in Santa Fe long enough to know that the city had a particularly good reputation for wanting to provide housing opportunity for New Mexicans who needed a fresh start. I was excited to travel back to my home in the Southwest with my new Berklee family, and reconnect with my community. I trusted that Habitat knew how to build houses. They brought us wood, and nails, and screw guns, and ladders.
With so much fresh building material, what I wasn’t expecting was the sense of history.