Building Community Blog

For Patty and her family, the building never stopped after they moved into their Habitat for Humanity home in St. Paul. As the kids grew up, the house slowly grew as well. A beautiful garden crept around the home, fresh paint popped up, and each and every room has evolved into a tranquil, comfortable space.

When Patty first moved into her home just before Christmas in 1991, she had three young children.  Before their Habitat home, Patty, her husband Arthur, and their children lived for twelve years in a home built in the 1900s.  The home’s age made it difficult to keep up with repairs and the poor ventilation greatly aggravated asthma and allergies for Kirby, Patty’s youngest child. 

To hear Mike Moody talk about it, you’d think he were in heaven when he discovered the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore six weeks ago. The ReStore, which is based in New Brighton, sells donations of building products, furniture and other housing products to the public for bargain-basement prices. Proceeds help build more Habitat homes. 


Six years ago, Great River Energy started a new policy to encourage employees to give back to the community. That first year they decided there was no better place for them to direct their volunteer hours than building houses with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. David Kemp, the Manager of Transmission Planning for Great River, has worked on a Habitat house every year since. “As an engineer I like construction. Most of us do.”

Something remarkable happened this past Wednesday, October 22nd. More than 260 women, and 3 men, gathered for the Hearth & Hope luncheon to support Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and to hear a keynote speech by Marilyn Carlson Nelson. The luncheon raised nearly $70,000 for affordable housing that will empower women in our community and improve the lives of their families and children. The amount raised was important, but the remarkable part of the day came in the fact that so many women gathered and acknowledged the power they wield to make a difference in the lives of so many families.

It's a win-win-win story going on right now for the family of Damaris, the City of New Hope, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. It started very differently a few years ago, with a house sitting empty because of a foreclosure and slowly falling into disrepair. At that time, Damaris and her two young children, Sarah and Joshua, were living in a one-bedroom apartment that had water damage.

Healthcare costs continue to eat up a larger and larger percentage of a family’s income each year. One generally agreed upon solution sounds simple: don’t get sick in the first place. We call it preventative medicine. Of course, that’s easier said than done. A doctor tells a patient to quit smoking, eat better, exercise more, and reduce the stress in their life. The patient says ‘sure thing doc!’ and walks out of the visit with the best of intentions to do those things.

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