Habitat for Humanity helps family build new home

Gay Luna and her two daughters, Tori and Devyn Alvarado, got straight to work building their home Saturday with the help of Habitat for Humanity during Women Build Week.

With no previous building experience, the family had to quickly learn how to use a nail gun and power saw.

"I just feels good because at the end we could say we built our own house," said Devyn.

Jillian Holbert: Portales News Tribune

Mother-daughter team Gay Luna (right) and Devyn Alvarado use a nail gun to at the Habitat for Humanity work site. Luna will own the house after it is finished.

Luna had to submit three applications to Habitat for Humanity before being approved for a house. According to Joyce Davis, the executive director for Habitat for Humanity, in order to qualify for a house, a family must show that they have a inadequate housing, enough income to pay for the house when it is done, and 300 hours of volunteer service.

"I'm just looking forward to having my own room," said Tori Alvarado.

Mike Rackler, a volunteer with 30 years of construction experience, was there to oversee the project. Rackler said that a construction committee meets once a month to plan for the best use of time and resources. If the build stays on schedule, the team hopes to raise the walls in three weeks.

Jillian Holbert: Portales News Tribune

Nick Peloquin measures and marks a piece of wood with a set square.

Volunteers Kendra and Nick Peloquin were also there to help build corners and headers for the house. Kendra Peloquin has been a volunteer at Habitat for more than two years and convinced her husband to join her a year ago. This is the third house the couple has helped build and they have learned a lot about the house building process.

"We're still friends with the last two houses we worked on and they come out and they work and we go to dinner and socialize and stuff," said Kendra Peloquin.

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