St. Helena Living: OTSH’s Two Stellar Volunteers.pdf

Two local men have volunteered well over 100 Saturday mornings to help build affordable houses in St. Helena.

In January’s St. Helena Living magazine

Eight local, income-qualified families are building their affordable houses in St. Helena on McCorkle Avenue on the building site now known as Brenkle Court. Each family must provide 32 hours of labor each week, which is done almost exclusively on the weekends because most of the participants work full-time. Volunteers – both family and community members — have been helping the families, and two volunteers in particular have done a remarkable job.

They show up nearly every weekend, going on 120 weeks

The project has been going on now for over 120 weeks, and local residents Kevin Leininger and Tom McBroom have been on the site almost every one of those weekends. Neither gentlemen is in the building trades but both are very familiar with swinging a hammer.

They show up every Saturday morning willing to do whatever is needed. Kevin found out about the project through the St. Helena Methodist Church, whose congregation has been supporting the Brenkle Court project through donations and by bringing lunch to the site once a month until COVID hit. He works as an outside sales rep for an industrial materials company, which takes him all around the Bay Area. But almost every Saturday morning he is at Brenkle Court.

Low income shouldn’t be confused with low quality

He is impressed with the building process. “Low income should not be confused with low quality,” Kevin says. “These homes are very well built.” He says he likes working with the families, and enjoys the everchanging work as the houses progress. “It was exciting to see the walls go up, the roofs go on, then the windows and now thefamilies are installing kitchen cabinets and flooring.”