Construction Industries Student Club Builds Shelters

The DACC Construction Industries Student Club is helping build shelters to shield the homeless from extreme weather at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.

The single person shelters are constructed at the Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Workforce Center and then transported and installed at Camp Hope, a tent city located at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. The Student Club and several DACC classes provide the labor to construct the structures. In total, more than 20 students per semester are involved in the effort.

“The DACC Construction Industries Student Club is affiliated with the Las Cruces Home Builders who are recognized for their commitment to the community and giving back through numerous programs,” said Kevin Gall, Director of the Construction Trades program. “By constructing these shelters students get hands on experience, learn a trade and give back to their community.”

The three sided 8 foot x 10 foot buildings are built to city and state code and will withstand all types of weather including cold, heat, wind, rain and snow. So far, four structures have been installed, two will be installed this spring and eventually 35 structures will help keep residents protected from the desert climate.

“We are grateful to the student club at DACC and instructor Kevin Gall,” said Nicole Martinez, Director of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. “These needed structures help protect the most vulnerable of our citizens and help prolong the lives of the tents in which people reside.”

The materials for construction of these shelters come from donations to the Community of Hope.

The Mesilla Valley Community of Hope supports the homeless and near homeless. They  offer different services to assist clients in getting back on their feet and off the streets. Case managers provide referrals to other agencies to obtain help, such as the Veteran’s Administration, the Social Security Administration, mental health care providers and local income support centers.