New Policies for Construction Volunteers

Beaches Habitat is committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, AmeriCorps members, volunteers, subcontractors, and community partners. In light of the many changes experienced by our communities at large, we have begun implementing changes on our construction site as we prepare to reopen volunteer opportunities.

Resuming Volunteer Opportunities

We do not have a specific date for volunteers to return. However, we will announce the availability of volunteer opportunities within two weeks of an announcement that the Jacksonville area will be moving into Phase 2 of reopening and recovery. **With Phase 2 scheduled to begin June 5, reopening details are coming soon!**

Our staff and AmeriCorps members on the construction site are implementing a number of new policies and practices based on guidance from OSHA, the National Association of Home Builders, Habitat for Humanity International, and others. As we adapt to these changes, we will limit the first several weeks of volunteer openings to our skilled Crew Leader and “regular” volunteers. We will also limit the number of volunteer opportunities to a maximum of 5 Crew Leader and regular volunteers per day, with the schedule available up to 2 weeks in advance.

Opportunities for groups, court-ordered volunteers, and new/sporadic volunteers will open at a later date. If you have questions about this or any of the information included here, please send an email to volunteer@beacheshabitat.org.

Social Distancing

We recognize that many of our volunteers will be considered vulnerable due to their age or health. The Florida Task Force for reopening suggests that those in vulnerable populations continue to stay at home during Phase 2 of reopening and recovery. While we will not prevent volunteers who may be more vulnerable from participating in construction activities, we strongly advise that you consider the risks of volunteering to your personal health and safety before making a decision to return. As you will read below, we plan to take many steps to create a safer construction site, but there will still be potential areas for exposure in any public setting.

During Phase 2 of reopening and recovering, task/house teams on the construction will be limited to no more than 5 people (including staff, AmeriCorps members, and volunteers) and our team will ensure that all participants maintain a physical distance of at least 6′ between workers as much as possible while performing all tasks. In addition, we have increased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for everyone on our sites (see below).

Screening

Our staff and AmeriCorps members are receiving daily screening for symptoms of COVID-19/fever as they arrive on the construction site.

Volunteers will be provided with instructions for self-screening prior to arriving on site. A member of our team will verify that volunteers have completed self-screening before checking-in any volunteer on the construction site.

Volunteer Check-in

All volunteers will be required to register for a volunteer shift. Unregistered volunteers will be asked to leave the site and register for a future opportunity.

Registered volunteers will receive a confirmation email the day before their scheduled shift. The email will contain self-assessment instructions, team and task assignments, and a devotion.

Upon arrival, volunteers are asked to remain in their vehicle until checked-in by a team member:

  • The team member will confirm that each volunteer has completed and passed the self-assessment before arriving on the construction site;
  • The team member will use a digital check-in kiosk to track volunteer hours (no paper/pen check-in);
  • The volunteer will be directed to their site where they will receive further instructions.

Gathering Times

A typical volunteer day involves a morning prayer and orientation, group instruction on tasks/goals, and congregation around snacks and water during breaks. To maintain social distancing, we have implemented several changes:

  • There will be no morning prayer and orientation. Volunteers are asked to observe a devotion and review task information, which will be emailed, before arriving on site.
  • Break times will be staggered to minimize gatherings of people.
  • Beaches Habitat will NOT provide snacks at this time. Please feel free to bring a snack with you.
  • Beaches Habitat will provide a no-touch water station for volunteers to refill water bottles. Please only refill from the water station using water bottles with a removable mouthpiece. Paper cups will be available for those without an approved water bottle.
Yes: images of water bottles with removable mouthpieces
No: images of water bottles without removable mouthpieces

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Volunteers will be asked to bring their own PPE, including hard hats. If you need PPE, please contact us after you have registered.

In addition to regular PPE, Beaches HFH will ask that all staff members, AmeriCorps members and volunteers wear:

  • Gloves:  Task appropriate gloves should be worn at all times while on-site. If gloves are not typically required for the task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex gloves.
  • Eye protection:  Eye protection should be worn at all times while on-site
  • Face coverings: When task-specific face PPE is not required, face coverings are required.  A face covering is a cloth, bandana, or another type of material that covers a person’s nose and mouth.

Tools

Volunteers are asked to bring their own tools. This includes power tools. Please do not share your personal tools! Our team will check your power tools for safety before they can be used on site.

Power tools will be labeled and rotated when possible When rotation is not possible, one operator will be designated per shift. The designated operator is responsible for sanitizing tools before leaving the site or storing the tool.

Sharing of tools, equipment and PPE is prohibited.

Common Spaces

Only one person may enter the PODS and trailers at a time. As you are leaving the trailer/PODS, please wipe all touched surfaces with sanitizing solution.

Staff and AmeriCorps members will spray portable toilets with disinfecting solution at intervals during the day. Anyone using a portable toilet is asked to wipe the interior and exterior door handles with sanitizing solution after use.

A portable handwashing station will be available on-site, with soap and towels replenished daily. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting solution will be readily available.

Please have patience

Our team is doing the best we can to bring volunteers back to site in the safest way possible. It will take time to adjust to the new ways of doing things for everyone – staff, AmeriCorps members and volunteers.

We need the help and cooperation of everyone to make our efforts effective. Unfortunately, there will still be risks involved and we cannot promise a virus-free site.

Our team is looking forward to seeing our volunteers again when it is safe to do so. If you have any questions, please send an email to volunteer@beacheshabitat.org.

You are a vital part of our team and we miss you!