Durhamights love to find creative new ways to collaborate and serve the community for the greater good. Why not start this time with an ice-cold glass of your favorite locally crafted beer? Five competing craft breweries - Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull Durham Beer Co., Fullsteam Brewery, Ponysaurus Brewing, and Triangle Brewing Co. - united with Habitat for Humanity to give back to the Durham community. The result? An entire house built by beer. Literally.
The “We CAN build it CANpaign” lead by Seth Gross of Bull City Burger and Brewery, began in 2016. At the time of press release on July 20, 2018, it was estimated that the Ramirez Pina family would be moving in to their new home in 20 weeks. What may have been a casual night sharing beer with friends, has been transformed into the incrediBULL possibility of a life for the Ramirez Pina family in Durham.
Here’s how it worked: Local breweries each created one-of-a-kind beers to be sold in six-packs. Buy. Drink. Build an affordable home. Repeat.
Contributors who donated $75 to Durham's Habitat for Humanity received a case of five 32-ounce cans (one from each brewery), and a Habitat for Humanity pint glass. In the end, this totally-Durham fundraising strategy raised $50,000 over the course of 2 years, the threshold Habitat considers enough to build a house. In other words, a whole lot of Durham beer-lovers were thirsty for a positive social change.
Gentrification, the buzz-word many Durhamites hear daily, needs a solution. For a quick vocab-recap on gentrification: the process by which affluent, wealthier individuals (often white) buy and renew deteriorating areas historically lived in by minorities. In Durham those areas are in and around downtown. The result of this process, is the displacement of residents typically by way of increased taxes due to nearby renovation increasing their property values. As people glorify the renewal, revitalizing and reinvention of formerly languished areas, often the people who once occupied those spaces get lost in the mix.
Solutions for this fallout can be approached from different angles. Durham breweries have recognized the issue and decided to take an active role and be a part of the solution. Why not take on affordable housing through craft beer sales? Other funky-soul-cities such as Asheville, Austin, and Denver have caught the beer-for-a-good-cause craze. If five competing craft beer breweries can join forces to provide affordable housing for a Durham family, what other unique angles can we take in combating gentrification?
Durham is for everyone - our diversity on every level is what makes our city incrediBULL. Keeping Durham, Durham is something we can all raise a glass to. Better yet, let’s grab a beer next week to keep this conversation going. In a few years I believe that the title of this blog will read “The homeS that Durham Built,” plural.
Want to help? Women and men of all experience levels can sign up to volunteer with Durham Habitat for Humanity at www.durhamhabitat.org.
Guest Blog By: Marie Muir
Durham Habitat for Humanity www.durhamhabitat.org
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