[Jon joined LaCasa as a Carpenter in April 2017]

My first impression is that I’m so amazed with the staff—they are extremely talented people who care about their jobs and are passionate about their work. That kind of atmosphere brings out the best in all of us. At All-Staff meetings [once a month, where LaCasa staff from all the sites meet around a table], I am surrounded by 30 people who are brilliant. Coming from the for-profit world, I have a new appreciation for folks who do grant writing, find donations from the community, find the finances—it’s amazing to see how many hands go into funding a project like this one (418 S. 7th in the East Lincoln Crossroads area).

 

This is the most I’ve ever “gutted” a house for a remodel. One of the benefits of this is that we can see the original framing and are able to determine what needs to be done to preserve the house’s structural integrity. It’s fun to see the old growth lumber used for studs, the giant cold-cut nails used for framing —>

 


<—and the more “unconventional” framing techniques in the loadbearing walls!

It’s also been great to work with our regular volunteers Vernon and Carl. Carl was crawling around in the crawlspace with me at 408 E. Lincoln!  These folks are so giving of their time and talents. And the volunteers from Lippert and the Goshen College Cross-country team made a huge difference in getting the demolition done at 418 S. 7th.

Before LaCasa or the for-profit company I worked for, I worked with Mennonite Disaster Service. It taught me how essential it is to a person’s wellbeing to have a home and a space to call their own.  To me, it’s really humbling to be a part of creating that space for someone, especially at a time when rents can be so unaffordable for some people.  I am grateful to be a small part of the work that LaCasa does for the folks of this county.