Brewers' Woodruff, Racing Sausages join volunteers for Habitat for Humanity build

NOW: Brewers’ Woodruff, Racing Sausages join volunteers for Habitat for Humanity build

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's Harambee neighborhood was filled with the sounds of hammers and power tools, the smell of fresh lumber and a couple dozen volunteers Tuesday as Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity volunteers, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation volunteers and even some Milwaukee Brewers favorites put on some hard hats and got to work.

"This is a beautiful picture of what's possible when people pull together," said Brian Sonderman, executive director of Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. "We can only together, break down the barriers of home ownership for first-time home buyers."

According to Habitat, one in three Milwaukee renters are spending half or more of their income on housing.

"We're at a 20-year high in terms of mortgage interest rates," Sonderman says. "Housing prices in the Milwaukee market are 30% higher today than they were just three years ago. Housing prices are soaring and it's becoming more and more difficult for families to find safe, stable, affordable home ownership."

Nine homes are being constructed in the Harambee neighborhood this year, including that of Milwaukee's Hsa Yu.

"I feel really happy because I never got to own a home before," said Yu, who will move into her home with her young daughter. "It is special because you know that a lot of people help on the side."

Helpers on Tuesday included Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff and his family, the Famous Racing Sausages and Bernie Brewer. Woodruff has been associated with Habitat for the last three years.

"When I was asked to do this and partner, it was an easy yes," Woodruff said. "It gives us great joy to be a part of this effort that can assure a roof over a family's head moving forward and know they have a good place to live."

"Every year, it gives me a sense of pride to know that we are all playing on the same team. That we're interested in improving the quality of life in this community," said Cecelia Gore, executive director of the Brewers Community Foundation. "A stable home is the foundation for families so that we can secure what we need to prosper in our communities, for family and children. All of the issues everyone is interested in supporting; housing is one of those critical components."

Each year, between 2-3,000 volunteers help Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity construct homes and staff their ReStores. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, visit the Habitat website here:

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