Construction: Scope of the Summer

by Melanie Cocalis, Community Development Coordinator

For the past eight months our construction team has invested in the project planning process, which ultimately leads to the three-month period in which the majority of these projects are executed. This planning process requires coordination and communication. This planning process demands wisdom and discernment. This planning process requires investment not only of the skills and plans of the construction team, but also their compassion. The last eight months have seen much more depth than simply taking measurements and pictures, drawing plans, and calculating estimates.

Here is a look into four factors our construction team weighs throughout the project planning process.

  1. Introduction and Application. The first step in this process may seem logistical, but is really only possible through relationships. When first getting to know a homeowner, the construction team and Partnership Coordinators take time to ask about the family that lives in the home, the ways they will contribute to the project during the summer, and the opportunity for relationships to form over the summer. The homeowner learns about all that is included in partnering with Next Step and its volunteers during the summer and gains insight and expectation for what is to come. Even before this introduction, community leadership teams have carefully selected the homes to work on asking question such as: Where is the greatest need? Where is there an opportunity for partnership? How can we be a part of the process?
  2. Dreams and Plans. Once decisions have been made and Next Step has committed to working on a home, we pursue conversations regarding the homeowner’s dream for the project they have applied for. What are they hoping for? What is their vision for the home if they had no limits? What will the area of the home we will be working on be used for when it is complete? How can we make sure the remodel work is sustainable? From here, the construction team creates. They bring to life the dreams of families, organizations and churches through the plans in which we have collaborated on.
  3. Execution and Relationships. Come summer, the groundwork has been laid. The piece that has been missing is soon to arrive: the labor, energy, and volunteer hours that come with our Summer Staff and the many youth groups that follow! This is the opportunity to build what has been dreamed. This is the opportunity for investing in relationships. This is the opportunity for contribution to be made and a partnership between Next Step and the family, organization, or church to form.
  4. Follow Up. The last step in the process does not finish when the final nail is hammered in, or when the last bit of paint is complete. After the summer, our construction team and community team on the ground work together to ensure all of the work is complete and that a relationship with the homeowner continues. The heart of the construction team is that this project is just the start of a new relationship.

As you show up for your mission trip, or, on the first day volunteers arrive at your house to begin the work, we encourage you to keep this process in mind! The way each project has been planned, invested in, and cared for reveals the intention and reason behind each construction staff member being a part of the team here. It is the belief that construction is a platform to build relationships, kick-start empowerment, and even share the gospel in which our construction team continues to plan projects on a full-time basis.

Next Step Ministries