Team Rubicon deployed sawyer teams and heavy equipment operators to clear the area, allowing the first phase of the project to move forward.
In the years to come, the partnering agencies expect the overall operation to be a multi-year endeavor. Historically, Lake County, Michigan, where Baldwin is located, is among the most economically disenfranchised with higher-than-normal unemployment, leaving considerable service needs such as veteran housing unmet.
The overall operation presented a great opportunity for Ina Store, located in neighboring Osceola County, to step-up and supply heavy equipment from CASE for the effort.
“We live, work and have raised families in this region of Michigan, and the opportunity to give back to an ambitious project that will help bring important services to our military veterans was a no-brainer,” said Dean Smallegan, vice president at Ina Store. “We look forward to seeing this project come to life in the coming months and years.”
Shawn Washington, the executive director of Lake County Habitat For Humanity, has a grand vision for the overall project. In addition to the single-block operation with Team Rubicon, she plans to engage the veteran-led disaster response and community service organization in prepping other sites throughout the community that would be part of the project. The operation is a perfect fit due to unlimited time constraints, which would allow volunteers to also deploy to higher-priority disaster response situations, as needed.