Volunteers put their time in at Maggie Manor
The steam rises from the basement like something you’d see in a movie. The ground is littered with dust and paint remnants and the fumes are indicators of work already done and more to come.
It’s hot – an intentional measure to make sure everything dries in a timely manner. Yes, the people sitting in this basement – some already sweating – will know by the time they go home that they’ve put in a full day’s work.
But nobody seems to care. Between the sips of water and bites of sandwich, there are good-natured jabs at one another. There are people from the morning crew leaving behind their personal equipment so the afternoon crew can continue on with its work. It would seem that the heart of this project has carried over to its volunteers.
It’s Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2, and it’s the final day that volunteers will be at the soon to be completed Maggie Manor housing complex in Wayzata. One crew was there that morning and others the day before. The weekend prior to that others were there completing the painting on other units.
In all, the volunteers will prime and paint the interiors of three of the six units at Maggie Manor. A professional crew will do the work on the other three.
“We had a great response both last weekend and this weekend,” Kim Vohs, the housing development director at Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners said. “We had 8-9 people per crew – four crews last weekend and three this weekend.
“We probably had 50-60 people come out and volunteer,” he added. “We’ve had everybody from school superintendents to bank presidents to college students out here.”
Maggie Manor is IOCP’s new multi-family housing complex that sits in the footprint of its old headquarters on Grand Avenue in Wayzata. After the service organization relocated its operation to Plymouth in 2011, it turned its focus for the site to creating some affordable housing of its own. The Wayzata City Council approved plans for Maggie Manor in September of that year.
If everything stays on schedule, the families that will call these six units – two 2-bedroom units and four 3-bedroom units – home will start moving in this spring.
In order to keep costs down and to give the community that seeemingly steps up to help at the last notice a chance to contribute, IOCP brought in volunteers of any skill level to get some of the work done. A few of those volunteers, despite their lack of prior painting experience, have been here multiple times.
“Their skill level doesn’t matter,” Greg Wacek, one of the leaders, says. “If they’re volunteering all skills are welcome.”
On this crew is one of those volunteers that’s come around more than once to make sure the work got done.
Alex Eide, of Plymouth, is taking a break from studying mechanical engineering at Notre Dame and found himself flush with time.
“I just heard they needed people and I have plenty of time on my hands,” he said. “This is my fifth shift down here.”
Eide is no stranger to IOCP. In fact, he volunteered at the food shelf when it was in the old headquarters – in the very location he’s working on this day.
“It’s pretty amazing,” he said looking around. “How much they’ve done and how fast they’ve done it … it’s pretty remarkable.”
Contact Jared Huizenga at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Eide, of Plymouth, works on painting some edges at one of the units at Maggie Manor in Wayzata Saturday, Feb. 2. (Photo by Jared Huizenga – Sun Sailor)
Work continues at the six-unit housing complex, which, if everything stays on schedule, will welcome its first residents this spring. (Photo by Jared Huizenga – Sun Sailor)