WOODLAND PARK • Teller County Habitat for Humanity has a leading role in a documentary filmed April 13 at the construction site for Trailhead Homes.
The film crew represented Build with Strength, which was established to promote affordable and sustainable housing in America. “We happened to be the first ones to be filmed because we were pretty far ahead on the project,” said Brandon Laney, director of Habitat’s resource development. “And they really liked that, instead of one home we’re building 18 homes.”
The documentary is the result of a partnership between Habitat for Humanity International and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.
Walls in the homes are insulated with helix blocks filled with concrete donated by Martin Marietta and Action Ready Mix Concrete, whose owner Tod Knudsen is in the film.
Of the 18 townhomes planned, five have been sold to people who contribute sweat equity to the project. Two of the new homeowners are single women. Each is cost-burdened when it comes to finding a home in Woodland Park.
“The people who make the town work can’t live here, can’t afford to,” Laney said. “So this an opportunity for them to live here and be part of the community.”
Laney has a degree in communications from Colorado State University Global and began his career as an intern for the city of Colorado Springs.
At Habitat, Laney will add public relations to his role at the nonprofit organization. “Part of our plan is to make it clear to the public what we do,” he said. “Habitat is about making attainable homes to counter the housing crisis. Bolstering the community is good.”
Laney and Sara Vestal, director of events and volunteer services, recently joined the team at Habitat in the new offices at 720 W. U.S. 24.
“I grew up in Wyoming and volunteered a lot when I was a kid,” Vestal said. “Later, I worked for a nonprofit in Wyoming and found it very rewarding.”
Vestal has a degree in marketing from the University of Wyoming. “Marketing can be used for basically anything but I like to focus on businesses that are going to actually help and change someone’s life, their day even,” she said. “Just doing something that’s making an impact is important to me.”
As part of her on-the-job training Vestal pitched in with the volunteers to cut the insulated concrete forms for the first two homes at Trailhead. Crews from Open Range Construction in Woodland Park are the general contractors.
Vestal is planning Habitat’s annual fundraising event, Vino & Notes, set for Aug. 7. “We will follow whatever (COVID-related) regulations there are at the time,” she said.
Tiny Barge and the Big Chill are the lead musicians for the event which will switch its focus this year from wine to music.
“We’re excited to have Brandon and Sara on board,” said Keith Meier, Habitat’s executive director. “We’re going places!”