At ReWork Project in South Austin, Dennis Haskin is creating solid foundations, in more ways than one.
”We have a picnic table, which is my favorite. When I first made it here, I didn't have no idea I would be able to build one myself," said ReWork employee, Haskin.
But now, the 51-year-old former addict says he is using the power of his newly-learned skills to rebuild his life, his dignity and his sense of purpose.
"When I came through the door, my confidence and spirit wasn't high. I really feel good about myself now," Haskin said.
"We have people who don't speak for months when they first come and it’s amazing to see how much they have to say now," said ReWork Director Allison Eskew.
Allison Eskew said six workers from various stages of homelessness come to the ReWork Project a few times a week to build everything from chairs and tables, to bird houses and corn hole games.
"It's encouraging to me to see people come out of really hard circumstances and just change," added Eskew.
For Haskin, this place gives him the tools and opportunity to rebuild his life, one step at a time.
"One good step makes another good step. You build off that something positive," said Haskin. “I was living on the street life, and living on the street. I didn't think there was a way out."
But now, he says people here, who have had barriers to employment in the past, are able to literally build their lives back.
"I have my place now. Stable. Life is really good right now," added Haskin.
Haskin and his coworkers are hoping to spread that love this holiday season.
"For me, if you buy something here, I'll be able to get paid, then I'll be able to buy my nephew a present," said Haskin.
For Haskin and his coworkers these products they create themselves also create feelings of hope and pride which they say can't be bought.