October 23, 2020

As nonprofits continue to adapt their crucial work under CDC and local COVID-related guidelines, DPR Construction’s Sacramento office facilitated a “COVID-19 Best Practices” protocol discussion this summer for the leadership team at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento. A long-standing member of the Sacramento community, Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to empowering and helping low-income families improve their shelter conditions by providing access to specialized resources and trainings. Committed to carrying out its Community Initiatives (CI) vision of Building possibilities for the under-resourced, DPR has expanded upon its CI Pillar 1 offering of “Facility construction and renovation” to include COVID-19-era safety protocols and developing a COVID Pre-Screening App to maintain safe jobsites.

This collaboration between Habitat for Humanity and DPR focused on what jobsite protocols Habitat currently has in place and took a deep dive into how DPR has continued to build safely through COVID-19 restrictions. Due to the nature of Habitat’s community service work, their goal was to host building events and have volunteers on their jobsites, while still following proper safety protocols.

DPR Project Manager, Aaron Schwartz and Safety Manager, Robert Pflueger shared resources and tools that are a part of DPR’s COVID-19 Task Force with Habitat’s Chief Operations Officer, Development Director and Director of Construction. During this discussion, they presented key safety tips, including how to disinfect commonly used tools throughout the day and planning workdays to minimize crowding and congestion on jobsites.

Pre-screening taking place on a jobsite.
DPR has expanded upon its CI Pillar 1 offering of “Facility construction and renovation” to include COVID-19-era safety protocols and developing a COVID Pre-Screening App to maintain safe jobsites. Photo courtesy of Ryan Schoeneberg

Schwartz mentioned, “We also presented the COVID Pre-Screening App we use for daily temperature and wellness screenings for anyone entering a jobsite.” A few months later, DPR is now in the process of helping Habitat set up the app as an additional tool to safely proceed with their building events.

“DPR was more than happy to support Habitat’s needs during this unforeseen time and our COVID-19 Task Force enabled us with great information to share,” said Pflueger. “We presented our COVID-19 resources and walked their team through DPR’s standard guidelines used to make sure we maintain safe jobsites daily.”

Since 2014, DPR has partnered with the local Sacramento Habitat for Humanity on days they construct homes, also called “build days,” and has financially supported the organization through the company’s CI effort. “It’s been an ongoing relationship where they leverage our technical expertise as builders, and we provide them with unique resources to help them make a difference in what they’re trying to do for the community,” said Schwartz.

DPR team socially distanced.
This collaboration between Habitat for Humanity and DPR focused on what jobsite protocols Habitat currently has in place and took a deep dive into how DPR has continued to build safely through COVID-19 restrictions. Photo courtesy of Chris Gehring

When the pandemic began, Pflueger said one of the first calls their CI team made was to their partners at Habitat, extending assistance with any trials and tribulations the nonprofit may have been facing during that turbulent period. “No matter what the challenge was, DPR was going to be there to support Habitat’s needs through it all,” said Pflueger.

Not long after, Habitat reached out to DPR and expressed that they were not comfortable having volunteers on their jobsites, so they opened the opportunity for DPR to help them frame a house. “They know that when DPR commits to a project, we show up with skilled craft laborers that can knock out a ton of work,” Schwartz said, “and our team has fun doing it, as well.”

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento’s Chief Operations Officer Shannin Stein, expressed her gratitude by sharing, “I continue to be humbled by the amount of support DPR provides our organization.”

Schwartz says, “We were put in a situation none of us anticipated, but DPR has learned a lot along the way and by sharing those lessons, we’re hoping to continue to make progress with how we manage COVID-19 as a community.”