Building Women, Not Just Houses
Founded in 1991 by Habitat for Humanity, Women Build is a program that encourages the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat homes.
Nationwide, more than 60% of Habitat homeowners are female heads of household. In Pierce County, that number over the past three years is close to 75%. As homeowners complete sweat equity hours and receive construction training, they gain the skills and confidence to maintain their homes.
Women Build seeks to bring that sense of strength and self-reliance to all women. Any woman who wants to learn how to build a home is invited to join. The atmosphere is collaborative and friendly, and no experience is necessary. Whether you are learning new skills or simply adding a few to your tool belt, Women Build is a rewarding experience for all involved, and improves the community we share.
Women Build 2020
In the evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, our plans for Women Build 2020 have been challenged but we will carry on with a retooled program. For the time being, all on-site construction opportunities are on hold, including Women Build Wednesdays. The popular Women Build Skills Workshops are moving online and we will continue to “gather” via Zoom. Check our Events Calendar for class offerings. Women Build Memberships for 2020 will be extended through 6/30/2021 to provide the opportunity to fully realize benefits.
Please visit our blog for more on our operational status through the pandemic.
While Women Build Wednesdays and most workshops are free and open to anyone, Women Build membership does have its benefits, including:
- Priority registration for Saturday builds (currently on hold due to the pandemic) and select workshops
- Women Build t-shirt
Women Build membership is $120 annually. To become a member, or gift a membership to someone else, click here. Once you finalize your membership purchase, you will be provided an access code to view/register for members-only activities.
Please note that all 2020 memberships are extended through 6/30/20 so members may have the opportunity to fully realize benefits.
Back of Women Build t-shirts:
Please note that all construction volunteer opportunities, including Women Build Wednesdays, are currently on hold. For our community’s safety, we are practicing a methodical and phased approach to reopening our build sites, and cannot offer a timeline for opening our volunteer schedule.
Join us on the construction site for for Women Build Wednesdays, and help build homes!
The last Wednesday of the month, March through October, is designated Women Build Wednesday and is open to all women interested in learning home building skills in an inclusive and collaborative environment. Each of these builds are open to at least 10 volunteers; additional volunteer slots may be added, if the workload allows.
For priority access to Saturday builds, consider a Women Build membership.
The highly popular Women Build skills workshops got off to a strong start in February 2020, then came to a screeching halt in the face of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order. It took a beat to get grounded in what’s feasible and evaluate our resources, but we’re glad to say workshops are back!
Starting in early May, Women Build Skills Workshops are going digital. Please visit our Event Calendar for class offerings. We hope to see you on Zoom for interactive sessions that will build our skills and perhaps encourage you to try something new.
You can also join the Women Build Facebook group to keep pace with developments on workshops.
History of Women Build
In 1991 a group of women in Charlotte, NC completed the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house, planting the seeds for Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program.
In 1997, first lady Hillary Clinton participated in a Women Build along with the first ladies from Kentucky and Oklahoma.
By 1998, Women Build had become an official Habitat for Humanity program.
The Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity affiliate has been participating in Women Build since 2001. Over 100 women volunteer each year, contributing time and funds to Habitat, as well as support to one another and to Habitat homeowners.
Women Build is growing internationally as well, empowering women everywhere to address poverty housing for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. Dozens of international Women Builds have taken place. The program aims to direct financial assistance to women-led projects worldwide.
Visit Habitat for Humanity International’s website for a comprehensive Women Build History.