Construction Volunteer FAQ

Where are you currently building? We are currently building along the Mayport Road corridor in Atlantic Beach.

When do you build? We build Tuesday through Thursday from 8 am to 4 pm, Friday from 8 am to 12 pm and Saturday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, volunteers have the option of working a half day or a full day, depending on your availability.

Do I have to sign up for a volunteer opportunity or can I just show up? Please sign up for volunteer opportunities through CERVIS.  For safety, we have a maximum number of volunteers who can be on the site each day.  If we exceed that number and you didn’t sign up, you may be asked to leave.

I registered with CERVIS. Now what? After you have created an account, you can sign up for build days on the calendar. For more information, like the available times and directions to the construction site, select a project from the list. “New Home Construction” and “Women Build” projects are available for any interested volunteer. Some opportunities are limited to members of certain groups or companies.

Do I have to attend an orientation before volunteering? We do not require a separate off-site orientation prior to volunteering. Our staff members conduct an on-site orientation at the beginning of each day on the construction site. It is important that you arrive on time to participate in the orientation!

Can I work with you to serve hours for probation, court-ordered community service, plea agreements, etc? Maybe. Please read our policy for for Community Service Volunteers  to see if your offense is acceptable for participation in our program. If it is, please review the expectations for completing your service and contact our office to confirm that you can complete your hours with Beaches Habitat.

Do I need to bring my own tools or other equipment? Beaches Habitat has all the tools and equipment that you’ll need on site. You are welcome to bring your own tools if you have them. Items that we recommend are: work gloves, hammer, utility knife, tape measure, etc. Please be sure that all of your personal items are labeled with your name. Please do not bring pneumatic or power driven tools (like circular saws, nail guns, etc.). Beaches Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged personal items.

Do you provide water and lunch for me when I come to build? We ask that you bring your own water bottle and lunch to the build site. Beaches Habitat does have water jugs for volunteers to refill their water bottles throughout the day.

Do you have age restrictions? Yes. Safety standards require that volunteers be 16 or older on construction sites. Volunteers aged 16 or 17 must have a Waiver of Liability Form completed by a parent or legal guardian.  On some occasions, we have volunteer opportunities for 14 and 15 year old volunteers.  Please contact our office before registering if you are younger than 18 years old.

What should I wear? We recommend that you wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Paints, adhesives and other materials that you may be asked to use can stain your clothing. It is very important that you dress properly for the weather – layered clothing in the winter, light weight clothing in the summer. Absolutely no open-toe shoes or sandals are allowed on the construction site. More dress code information is available in our Construction Volunteer Policies.

How do I get my congregation, community group or other organization involved? If you have a group of over 5 volunteers, please review the information on our Construction Volunteer Groups page or contact our office for more information. For smaller groups, just have everyone sign up individually on CERVIS.

If I register for HabiJax, do I have to also register with Beaches Habitat? Yes. While Beaches Habitat and HabiJax (Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville) are both affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, we are each an independently run non-profit organization. We have separate service areas and coordinate all aspects of Habitat home building within that local area—fund-raising; building site selection; partner family selection and support; house construction; mortgage servicing; and volunteer hours.

What do I do if the weather is bad? If the weather is bad, call the construction volunteer hotline at (904) 595-5810. While some conditions will limit our activity, we often have work that can be done indoors. If we decide to close the construction site for the day, we will update the hotline by 7am.

Will I meet the person who will be moving into the home I’m building? You might. All of our partner families are required complete volunteer hours (we call it “sweat equity”) with Beaches Habitat in order to become homeowners. Beaches Habitat makes an effort to identify partner families when they are volunteering. We encourage volunteers to introduce themselves to the partner families and learn more about them while you work together.

How are families selected for home ownership? A volunteer Family Selection Committee reviews applicants and follows a non-discriminatory selection process based on level of need, ability to repay the loan and willingness to partner with Habitat.

How is home construction paid for? It costs roughly $75,000 (excluding land and infrastructure) to build a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom Beaches Habitat home. Habitat purchases materials with donations from individuals, churches, businesses and civic organizations. No government funds are accepted for the construction of homes. We do receive some government funding to help purchase land and pay for infrastructure. In addition, all homeowner mortgage payments are placed in a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more homes each year.

I want to volunteer but I can’t work on the construction site. How else can I help? Beaches Habitat needs more of what everyone needs – money and time. We always appreciate monetary donations in any form (one-time, estate planning, etc.), as well as donations of land or certain materials. You can also volunteer your time on a committee (family selection for example) or in the office. Getting the word out about Beaches Habitat in our community is also helpful. Your involvement can make a difference!