Building Community Blog

By Pete O'Keefe
Twin Cities Habitat Staff

As the social enterprise arm of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, the ReStore sells building materials, appliances, furniture and cabinets to the general public. Real world business problems have provided an opportunity to partner with local student groups for innovative solutions, with the store operations acting as a working laboratory. This semester, the ReStore has a multitude of active projects. 

"I wish I could take my home with me,” Lilly said. Lilly was homebuyer number one for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity back in 1986. She, and her three teenaged daughters had moved a lot and shared a small two-bedroom apartment before she bought the home in Minneapolis. “Moving so much was hard on them,” she said, “and I didn’t want to do that to them anymore.” 

Last weekend, Twin Cities Habitat supporters, volunteers and homebuying families gathered in the sunshine to celebrate the completion of eight townhomes in Hugo and Woodbury. These are the first of the 33 Habitat homes that will be built in Hugo, thanks to an incredibly generous $1 million land donation from JL Schwieters and Schwieters Companies in December 2013. To date, the five-acre land contribution is the largest ever received by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

This semester, Minnetonka Vantage students are partnering with Avalon Charter School students to develop a youth engagement project that we can take out to elementary schools and complete with students. Minnetonka Vantage is program where high school students partner with businesses to complete real life business projects. Avalon is a project-based charter school in Saint Paul; the project based learning style empowers students, teaches time-management, and gives the students freedom to work on something they are passionate about. This is the first project that Minnetonka and Avalon have partnered together on.

Rebuilding in Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010 has challenged the best efforts of relief and humanitarian agencies from around the world. The disaster destroyed105,000 houses and damaged another 85,000, which left more than 1.5 million people homeless. Much of the country’s housing stock and infrastructure was reduced to piles of rubble. Efforts to rebuild have been complicated by many factors, including the fact that Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the world. Even before the disaster, 3 out of 4 people lived on less than US $2 a day.

By Rebecca Lucero
Policy and Advocacy Manager, Twin Cities Habitat

A committee in the House of Representatives is currently making decisions around funding that directly impacts Habitat for Humanity. On the table is $5 million in cuts to the Challenge Fund. These funds are critical to the work that Habitat for Humanity does across the state. Please ask your legislator to prevent these cuts from occurring by quickly sending this email directly to them. 

By Blake MacKenzie
Twin Cities Habitat Staff

As part of the Carpenter’s Club, Lois Humbert is a sustaining monthly donor for Twin Cities Habitat.

She saw the impact of Habitat first-hand when a woman from her unit in Mary Kay purchased a Habitat home near Ashland, Wisconsin. The single mom had to put many hours of sweat equity into her home.

“I saw how she had to take more accountability and pride in her home because of that,” Lois said.

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