Giving people a hand up into decent housing was what drew Jack Bullick to volunteering at Habitat for Humanity Central North Island.

“Just because someone isn’t homeless, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t struggling,” Jack said.

Jack first learnt about Habitat from staff at a University of Waikato sustainability lecture, and he has been volunteering one day a week since.

“They talked about what Habitat does, the ReStore, how families get into homes. There were a few stories about families and this linked to what Murray does.”

Murray Pinkerton is Habitat CNI’s construction assistant, who Jack now works alongside.

When Jack thought of volunteering, some of it did not appeal to him, but he finds helping Murray as a construction volunteer rewarding.

“I get to think, I did that, and that’s going towards helping this family.”

“I didn’t have a construction background before Habitat. I had done the odd thing – painting and sanding. I was never a tradie. But this is something that interested me, and I thought I would give it a go.”

A day for Jack begins with visiting the Hamilton office and getting briefed on what they will be doing that day. Whether it’s doing demolition work to salvage materials for the ReStore, or if it’s going to Freeman Court in Te Awamutu to help older people move rooms or helping with the renovations, there is a range of work to do.

Jack finds the demolition jobs rewarding, as he can see a positive community-wide impact, “you can salvage things, you can see it is not just for the ReStore, it’s for the customer’s benefit.”

“For example, we saved a great set of French doors that a family could then purchase at an affordable price from the ReStore.”

Jack enjoys seeing the steps of working with these families to address their housing need.

“There was a story about one of the homes that stuck with me, they would take in children that were just sort of dropped off at their doorstep, and they didn’t want the walls painted because that was the story of the home. They didn’t want the house knocked down. You’re enabling these people to keep doing what they are doing and working around them and making the home habitable.”

“If you are interested in volunteering, there is a whole lot of things that you can do at Habitat, have a chat, they will point you in the right direction.”

Contact info@habitatcni.co.nz, or phone 07 849 0284 if you’d like to get involved with volunteering at Habitat.