It is gratifying to see the walls of a home go up in one day and rewarding to talk with future residents about their plans after moving in and what they love about their new space.
— David Witte, BLOCK Build Volunteer
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We have opportunities for everyone in the community to become involved in the building of a BLOCK Home! Whether you work in the construction industry, have specific skills you have honed on your own, or have never been on a build site, we have pathways for you to get involved with building a BLOCK Home. Please see below for Build Volunteer FAQs followed by FAQs for Contractors who would like to get involved with the project! Thank you for your interest and we look forward to working with you!


BUILD VOLUNTEERS

WHO ARE BLOCK BUILD VOLUNTEERS?

We believe everyone in our community has something beautiful and valuable to offer, and it is our mission to engage every person who wants to be a part of the solution to homelessness. BLOCK Build Volunteers join the effort to end homelessness by helping out on BLOCK Build sites. Many have some experience with tasks such as painting, landscaping, gardening, and home repairs, but most have never independently led a residential construction project from start to finish.

We engage professional subcontractors and contractors, too (see contractor FAQs below)! To donate professional labor or expertise, please contact Jennifer Tee at jennifer@facinghomelessness.org

HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES?

The BLOCK Project is powered by community. To learn about upcoming opportunities, please visit our Timecounts Hub at https://timecounts.org/facing-homelessness and create an account. You will then be notified of all future BLOCK build opportunities.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I ARRIVE ON A BUILD SITE?

BLOCK Builds Days are typically co-led by a Facing Homelessness representative and a volunteer builder or construction manager and are typically attended by 5-10 community volunteers with various levels of experience. At the beginning of each workday, the Facing Homelessness representative will kick off the morning with a project introduction and basic safety presentation. The volunteer builder will then share instructions pertinent to your specific Build Day. Frequently, the group will break into smaller crews to work on the various tasks. Activities range from hanging drywall, painting, stacking lumber, framing, sanding, demolition, cleaning, trenching and anything else that needs doing! Downtime and transition periods are normal. So is an entire shift of intensive physical labor. Come with an open mind, be aware of your own limitations, and know that we are extremely grateful to you for being among our very first Build Volunteers!

I HAVE FRIENDS OR COLLEAGUES WHO WANT TO VOLUNTEER TOGETHER. DO YOU WORK WITH GROUPS?

YES! We work with both individuals and groups. For group volunteering, please complete this form and contact Bénédicte Bicaba, the Community Activator at Facing Homelessness bene@facinghomelessness.org  | 206.632.7299

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO A VOLUNTEER SHIFT?

Volunteers must wear long pants, boots, and bring work gloves (we'll have a few extra pairs if you need them). If you are not dressed properly you will not be allowed on site. Volunteers are encouraged to be mindful of the weather and plan accordingly. For example, on a hot and sunny Seattle day, do bring some sunscreen.

Please note that lunch is not provided. You are invited to bring a sack lunch or snacks to share with fellow volunteers. Water will be provided -- bring your own bottle!

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE VOLUNTEERING ON A BUILD SITE?

All BLOCK Project volunteers must complete a volunteer waiver which will be shared via DocuSign to those who have signed up for shifts on TimeCounts. Additionally, please take the time to review the Volunteer Safety Packet.

WHO IS THE DESIGNATED CONTACT AT FACING HOMELESSNESS FOR VOLUNTEERS?

Bénédicte Bicaba, Community Activator, Facing Homelessness

bene@facinghomelessness.org  | 206.632.7299


CONTRACTORS

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GENERAL CONTRACTOR / SUBCONTRACTOR FOR THE BLOCK PROJECT?

Each General Contractor will sign up to build a specified number of BLOCK Homes based on their capacity, ranging from one to as many as five (or more) each year. We see the General Contractor pulling in their family of subcontractors and suppliers to donate portions of their goods and services to build the home together. We see this as a bonding experience for those involved, bringing contractors and their subs and suppliers closer together, and a marketing opportunity for the larger GC family. As a General Contractor, you commit to:

Assigning a Project Manager to manage the project, including the schedule and budget, and serve as primary contact for BLOCK Architects and Facing Homelessness.

Recruiting a team of subcontractors prior to construction, including:

    • Plumbing

    • Electric

    • Solar

    • Mechanical

    • Rough and Finish Carpentry

    • Metal Siding and Roofing Installation

    • Landscape Installation

    • Casework and Cabinetry

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SUBCONTRACTOR FOR THE BLOCK PROJECT?

A Subcontractor’s primary role in the BLOCK Project is to bring pro-bono or discounted expertise to the build site. The BLOCK Home build site will be managed by a General Contractor who will work with interested Subcontractor’s to develop a scope of work and schedule for their component of the build. You will be working with some of the top General Contractors in Seattle who are also donating their time and expertise. We have been very fortunate to work with Turner Construction, Karlstrom Associates, and Schultz Miller as General Contractors on our first three BLOCK homes.

WHO COVERS THE COST OF MATERIALS?

Facing Homelessness raises $35K for each home to help cover material and labor costs that have not been donated. The General Contractor is not required to pay for materials, their primary job is to manage, build, and bring the needed subcontractors and suppliers to the project.

WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR BUILDING A BLOCK HOME?

We are currently in the pilot phase of this project so each BLOCK Home build schedule will be a little different, and is currently largely set by the General Contractor. We will convene a meeting of key stakeholders involved in the build process before starting construction on each home, including: Hosts of the BLOCK Home, Principal and BLOCK Project Manager from BLOCK Architects, Representative of Facing Homelessness, General Contractor and Project Manager.

WHAT ARE THE MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MY COMPANY?

Your company will be joining an elite cadre of project partners who have come together to support the BLOCK Project. Our project partners will become a part of our sponsorship program which may include acknowledgement on our website, Facebook page (50,000 followers globally), during events, in our marketing materials, and in reports to funders and other stakeholders in the community.

WHAT SUPPORT IS PROVIDED TO GENERAL CONTRACTORS?

Facing Homelessness and BLOCK Architects each have a full-time Project Manager who will assist the General Contractor’s Project Manager in getting the home built.

ARE THERE TAX BENEFITS FOR BEING A PART OF THE BLOCK PROJECT?

Yes! It is possible to receive a tax benefit for the value you donate to the BLOCK Project. We will provide detailed information about this during your onboarding process.

WHO IS THE DESIGNATED CONTACT AT FACING HOMELESSNESS FOR CONTRACTORS AND SUBS?

Jennifer Tee, BLOCK Project Manager, Facing Homelessness

jennifer@facinghomelessness.org  | 206.632.7299