Habitat for Humanity volunteers build homes for Chicago families led by women

Raising walls, hammering nails, building hope
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Women worked together on Chicago's Far South Side Wednesday to build a handful of houses from the ground up, which will become homes to city families led by women.

Almost all of the volunteers at the build site were women. Habitat for Humanity had teams of women building four homes in Chicago's West Pullman neighborhood.

Erika Orozco is a single mother of six, with a baby on the way. On Wednesday, she watched her home come to life. She said it's a dream come true.

"I can picture my kids being in the house and comfortable and living that true dream - that it's their own home," Orozco said.

Habitat for Humanity Chicago his hosting its sixth annual "Women Build" from Wednesday to Saturday. About 350 women raised $175,000 to fund the homes

"You have amazing women that we work with. We are building a house for an amazing woman who would maybe normally not be able to otherwise have a home. This is the most special thing I do all year," said Amy Bilton, a volunteer.

"Women have such a disadvantage in home ownership. This is just building up the community and women and giving them a chance," Habitat for Humanity Committee Member Amy Sullivan said.

Orozco said she never thought she would be one of the recipients of a home, after seeing 35 families apply. When she completed the process, she was shocked to get a letter of congratulations. To her family, this means stability, and breaking out of a very small apartment.

"We're sharing one bathroom for everybody in the house. It's very uncomfortable, but now everybody is going to have their own space," Orozco said.

Orozco said her home will be a four bedroom, two bathroom house - bigger than she could have ever imagined. It will be ready for her family by the summer.
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