Looking back: A Blitz Build for Ruth

Ruth has been a resident of East Biloxi all her life. Hurricane Katrina brought 8 feet of water into her home and shifted it off its foundation. Returning after the hurricane, Ruth stayed in the flooded home until she received a trailer from the First Presbyterian Church.

Over two years later, her house was finally ready to build. Through the collaboration of volunteer organizations including Hope Force, Hands On Gulf Coast, and the East Biloxi Coordination Center, the house was blitz-built in approximately one week. The new house is handicap-accessible and features two bedrooms, an open living and dining room, a modest kitchen and a small back porch. I drew the plans based on a design by Jason (Cora’s house), with minor modifications.

The blitz took place during the first week of April, 2008. I didn’t participate, since I was busy doing other work at Patty’s, but I got plenty of photos from Hope Force. Here’s a selection:

Richard, Emily, Doug, and another volunteer complete final preparations for the blitz.

Volunteers, including Mike (center), raise an exterior wall.

Jimmy, from Hope Force, on the chop saw.

Jeff, from Hands On/Hope Force, laying out for plumbing.

Framing in action, including Brandon from the Coordination Center and Fletcher, John, Steve, and Ian from Hands On.

A NCCC team works on raising a beam.

Nick from Hands On and two volunteers begin working on the roof.

A volunteers walks the plate.

Steve from Hands On and Jeremy, center, from Hope Force, work on the roof.

The ridge going up, with Nick (blue) and a group of volunteers.

Three volunteers begin putting up sheathing.

Roof rafters are laid out.

Volunteers carry materials.

A Hope Force volunteer gets down and dirty with the plumbing.

Ian and Sharece from Hands On putting up sheathing.

Richard from the Coordination Center cutting a piece for the roof.

A volunteer looks over the partially completed roof.

Ian nails sheathing.

A volunteer nails sheathing.

Volunteers putting up sheathing on the roof.

Doug from Hands On and a Hope Force volunteer on the roof.

A volunteer sweeps the house.

Coordination Center mastermind Brandon lays out a cut.

The vapor barrier and windows are added.

Jeremy from Hope Force works on trim.

Brian from the Design Studio working on installing windows.

Doug from Hands On helps install the first row of siding.

Nick from Hands On working in the crawl space.

A volunteers works on insulating the floor of the house.

Victor works on plumbing in the crawl space.

Brent and Jeremy from Hope Force consult the drawings (this photo provided for instructional purposes to encourage others to follow suit!)

A view of the completed house and landscaping.

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