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First responders build new Habitat for Humanity home in Suffolk

Frontline Heroes Build Week will allow teams of healthcare heroes to come together and raise money for Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads.

SUFFOLK, Va. — Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads is hosting Frontline Heroes Build Week, where first responders will help build a home in Suffolk this week.

The organization has built more than 200 homes for families since 1988 -- and today, they’re not slowing down.  

A busy construction site on Cedar Street will be the future home of a Suffolk mother of two.

Alexandra Serrano, chairwoman of Frontline Heroes Build, said volunteers have a big goal: to finish this home before Christmas.

And they’ve got some special guests helping out this week. 

“We’re going to get a lot done here this week, a lot done here this week," Serrano said. “So today is military Monday; we have our police coming out Tuesday; firefighters, Wednesday; healthcare workers on Thursday; and essential workers on Friday.”

On Monday, members of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy picked up tools and plywood to help get this home finished, working hard alongside other volunteers.  

“I do it for very selfish reasons. I do it because it makes me feel good to give back to the community," Serrano said.

But these homes are never just given away. Serrano says Habitat for Humanity works with families to achieve homeownership.

“With Habitat for Humanity, we do not give away these homes; these people, they have a mortgage on them, we make it to a cost that they can afford," Serrano said.

Karl Johnson of BAE Systems said it’s a big team effort with an important goal in mind: helping others. 

“This is a week-long project to get this house, ready," Johnson said. “And that’s what it’s all about – helping one family at a time being able to get up on their feet; it’s a hand-up, not a hand-out.” 

The future home is for a Suffolk mother of two, Shaquita Outlaw, who will also be helping with the process.

“I knew I always wanted to be a homeowner but never knew where to start,” Outlaw said. “I thank God and Habitat for Humanity for choosing me to become a homeowner and am grateful to become a part of the Habitat community.”

In partnership with STIHL, Frontline Heroes Build Week will allow teams of healthcare heroes to come together and raise money for Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads through their daily construction efforts. 

The funding will go towards supporting local affordable housing, and the winners will receive prizes. 

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads and Frontline Heroes Build week or how you can donate, click here.