A Sneak Peak Inside the New College Heights Friendship House

What an incredible week it was last week! 2 weeks ago, there was only a concrete slab on the lot at 1518 Orange Street. As of this last week, we are well on our way to a complete exterior on the new College Heights Friendship House. This progress was only possible through the hard work of Baptist Church Builders of Texas, students from HSU, Texas Tech and ACU, friends from Hope Church of Christ AND soon-to-be neighbors! And they wouldn't have had anything to do without the growing list of partners and donors.

If you weren't able to come out last week, it's not too late--there will still be many opportunities to help. But let me show you a little of what happened last week...

Foundation slab at 1518 Orange

First Wall

The View from Inside

Starting to look like a house!

All the walls are up outside and inside! OSB and weather wrapping cover the exterior. The roof trusses are up and topped with decking. Windows are installed. Cedar posts line the front porch and carport. We even started to put up siding over the weekend.

The men of Baptist Church Builders were some of the hardest-working and knowledgeable folks I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside. Even with so many men knowing exactly what to do and each having their own ways of doing the next thing, not once did I hear pride causing disagreement or strife. The attitude of graciousness even extended to me and other less-experienced workers. 

My favorite part of the process, though, was the interaction with neighbors. I had already met most everyone on the block throughout the last year. But the build supplied a couple of opportunities to ask neighbors to contribute in ways that they only they could. Finding and asking for their assets started off these new relationships as mutually beneficial ones. First, the neighbor next door let us hook up a hose at his house to use during the foundation work (with the landlord's approval). This kept us from getting behind schedule until a new water meter was installed at the site. Later the neighbor across the alley allowed us access to her backyard. Being on a smaller residential street, things could have been a bit cramped at the build site. With her contribution, we were able to park storage trailers in the easement next to her house and even set up a large tent for a wood-cutting station. Without this, we wouldn't have had room for the equipment to lift trusses up to the roof. Next, a neighbor with build experience help us work out a complication and brought his son to help, too. Finally, another neighbor bought lunch for everyone working on Saturday.

Our needs were met by neighbors who see something good happening around them and want to get involved. What a beautiful start to this new chapter! I hope and pray that these examples are just the start of ways the Friendship House and those around it come together to fortify a culture of caring in College Heights.

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Click here to listen to KACU's radio story on the Friendship House build.