Marines help civilians battle housing costs

10 Feb 2006 | Lance Cpl. John J. Parry

Marines from the “Oldest Post of the Corps” are helping fight the battle on housing costs in Washington, D.C.

The Single Marine Program, a program based on improving the quality of life for Marines living in the barracks, produced 10 motivated Marines to work for Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization dedicated to building affordable housing for people who make around minimum wage.

With the help of volunteers, the organization builds homes to sell them for less than they cost, creating prices less fortunate citizens can afford, said Nancy Eddy, volunteer coordinator for D.C. Habitat for Humanity.

The Marines arrived early to the worksite at 7:30 a.m. on 55th Street northeast Washington, D.C. Friday, Feb. 10, and were greeted by a warm and friendly makeshift staff of volunteers and full-time workers.

“It’s a great treat to have Marines here,” said Eddy “They show up early and bring high expectations for work.”

Throughout most of the day, all of the Marines worked on applying dry-wall to the ceiling and walls and finished the day with a general area clean-up.

With few breaks, the Marines worked from their time of arrival at 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

First Sergeant John P. Ploskonka, first sergeant, B Company, said he came to see his Marines participate and was glad to see they were helping out the community.

Lance Corporal Sean R. Hinds, 23, logistics clerk, Marine Corps Institute company said the experience was great, and was glad the SMP provided him the opportunity to come and help out.

Eddy promoted that all armed servicemembers were welcome to volunteer. “Armed services come out and clean-up and get the job done,” she said.

Marines are encouraged to volunteer their time in the community.  The Single Marine Program is a great way to get involved and give back, and the people of the community really appreciate it, said Corporal Colby C. Hetherington, the president of the SMP.

“Oldest Post” Marines will continue to participate in creating affordable housing through the Habitat for Humanity program in upcoming months.