Frequently Asked Questions

Individual Volunteers
General | Construction-Related | Age Requirements | Volunteer Orientation | HandsOn Connect

Group Volunteers | Construction
Sponsorship | Other questions

Group Volunteers | A Brush with Kindness (Home Restoration)
What is A Brush with Kindness? | Getting Involved | Sponsorship | Other questions

Individual Volunteers

Please read the following frequently asked questions. If you have other questions or concerns, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 612-305-7114 or volunteer@tchabitat.org.

General | Construction-Related | Age Requirements | Volunteer Orientation | HandsOn Connect

General

I am interested in volunteering. How do I get started?
If you are interested in volunteering, Volunteer Orientation is a good place to start! There you will learn more about Habitat and find out all the ways you can get involved in construction and non-construction roles.

Do I have to commit to a full day?
Construction and home restoration volunteers must commit to a full day, usually 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ReStore volunteers can volunteer for a shift that is 3-4 hours or a full day depending on the ReStore schedule. Time commitments for non-construction positions vary; you can read more online.

How do I set up a day for my classmates to do service hours for our class?
Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 612-305-7114 or volunteer@tchabitat.org for more information.

What if I want to volunteer with a group?
We welcome groups! If you have a group of 5 or more, click here to learn more about group volunteering. Groups of 4 or fewer people may self-schedule to volunteer together. Each person should register an account on Hands On Connect and sign up for the same opportunity.

I volunteered with a group and want to return on my own. How does that work?
We welcome folks looking to get involved as individuals! If you are looking to sign up for a one-day construction opportunity, visit our online scheduling tool, HandsOn Connect. Otherwise, please sign up for Volunteer Orientation.

I’m available a few days a week. Can I volunteer on a more regular basis?
Twin Cities Habitat welcomes volunteers looking to make a regular commitment! After attending a Volunteer Orientation, you can decide which position works best for your schedule and the amount of time you would like to volunteer.

When and where do you build?
Twin Cities Habitat builds year-round in the seven-county metro area. To learn more, visit HandsOnConnect. After you have registered, you will see the dates and locations of our projects.

How do I sign up to volunteer at the ReStore?
The first step to volunteering at the ReStore is to attend a Volunteer Orientation. At orientation, you will learn more about volunteering at the ReStore.

I have required community service hours to do and need to get them done soon. How do I get started?
The first step is to attend a Volunteer Orientation. There, you will learn about Habitat and how you can get involved as a volunteer.

I have a disability or am recovering from surgery. Are there any volunteer opportunities for me?
We have volunteer opportunities in the office, which may be a possibility for someone who is unable to work on the construction site or in the ReStore. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator, at 612-305-7114 or volunteer@tchabitat.org for more information.

Construction-Related

I don’t have any construction skills. Can I still volunteer?
Absolutely! We welcome all skill levels. Staff is there to help volunteers and will give you all the onsite training you need.

I can’t print the Liability Waiver. Can I still come to site and volunteer?
Yes, we have paper waivers onsite that can be used in the event you don’t have access to a printer. We do ask volunteers to please print waivers from home when possible.

Should I bring my tools with me?
You’re welcome to bring your own tools! We ask that you please label them so they don’t get mixed up with the tools provided by Habitat. If you do not own tools, that is OK! We provide all necessary tools and safety equipment.

Age Requirements

How old do you have to be to volunteer?
That depends on the opportunity you wish to pursue. Construction and home restoration volunteers must be at least 16 years of age; 16- and 17-year-olds must be accompanied by someone who is 21 years or older. To volunteer at the ReStore or on a landscaping project, volunteers must be at least 14 years of age and accompanied by someone who is 21 years or older. Age requirements for other non-construction positions may vary.

I have children between the ages of 5-15. Can they volunteer on a construction site? If not, what else can they do?
For safety reasons, construction volunteers must be at least 16 years of age; 16- and 17-year-olds must be accompanied by someone who is 21 years or older. Younger children who are interested in getting involved should consider joining Youth United! Youth United is a program of Habitat for Humanity International, sponsored by State Farm and run by youth and for youth ages 5 to 25. It brings together young people from all walks of life to play active roles in transforming their communities. Our Youth United chapter mobilizes young people to sponsor and build a house with our affiliate. For more information, e-mail heather.erickson@tchabitat.org or call 612-305-7138.

I am retired and still want to volunteer. Are there ways for me to get involved?
We love our retired volunteers! Able-bodied adults interesting in volunteering may want to join a regular construction crew, or consider one of the many other volunteer opportunities we have available! The best way to find out about the volunteer opportunities is to attend a Volunteer Orientation.

Volunteer Orientation

Do I have to attend an orientation before I can start volunteering?
Volunteer Orientations are not required for those looking to volunteer for one-day construction or home restoration opportunities. They are required for ReStore volunteers and all other non-construction volunteer positions. Volunteers who have required community service hours for any reason (church, school, court, etc.) must attend an orientation.

I can’t make the orientation listed on the website. Is there another one that I can go to or can I just sign up to volunteer?
We host Volunteer Orientation a few times a month, so keep checking the website for another date. If you are signing up for a single-day construction or home restoration volunteer opportunity and you do not have required service hours to complete, you may sign up to volunteer without first attending orientation. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@tchabitat.org to set up a separate time to meet if you have required community service hours and are unable to attend an orientation.

HandsOn Connect

If a build day is listed as “Full,” can I just show up on site that day?
No. We need volunteers who are on a site to be registered in advance.

I’ve visited HandsOn Connect, and I don’t see a day that fits with my schedule. Will other dates be added soon?
Yes! Keep checking back; the schedule is updated often. We post opportunities anywhere from two to four weeks in advance!

I forgot my username or password for HandsOn Connect, where can I go to retrieve these?
If you forget your password, click “Forgot your password?” on the HandsOn Connect sign-in page. For additional help, you may email the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@tchabitat.org who can look up your username or help you set up a new password.

What is the Panel Plant?
The Panel Plant, located in Minneapolis, is where we build wall frames that will be brought to site to build a Habitat home.

Group Volunteers | Construction
 Sponsorship | Other questions

What is Home Building?

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes throughout the seven-county metro region using volunteer labor. Our home construction creates housing for families who have not owned a home and puts them on a pathway of new opportunities. Volunteering to build a home may mean working on a townhome of up to eight units or helping rehabilitate a single-family home. It may mean building in Minneapolis, St. Paul or a surrounding suburb. By building a Habitat home, you help to create affordable housing for families in need.

Why do I have to sponsor my workday(s)?

We are extremely grateful for our volunteers who donate their time! However, we also need to raise funds in order to cover the cost of land acquisition, building materials and site supervision. Twin Cities Habitat depends on the financial support of volunteer groups to help defray the rising cost of construction. A donation corresponding to your level of participation is vital to Habitat’s mission of making decent, affordable shelter for all people a reality. Please see the group volunteer registration form for details. Sponsorship is required during the summer season and is flexible during the winter season.

Does my donation go toward the build site I am working on?

Yes! Your donation is tied to the home(s) you volunteer on. Sponsors at the Workcamp level or above will be recognized on a sign placed prominently at the site throughout the build and will be named in The Habitat Herald, Annual Report and Dedication Program. Create a Home sponsors will have additional recognition benefits corresponding to the level of financial support.

How many volunteers do we need?

Depending on the date(s) you volunteer and the scope of your project, we ask groups to bring anywhere between 10 – 18 volunteers.

Does my group need construction experience?

No. We welcome all levels of skill and experience! All necessary training is provided on-site by a Habitat staff member (Site Supervisor). If your group does have one or more skilled volunteers, consider asking them to be crew leaders.

Which dates do you have available?

Our construction schedule is always changing and being updated.  Please work with your TCHFH Constituent Manager to check availability.

We would like to build in the city where we live or where our business, congregation or school is located. Can you accommodate that?

We will do our best to match your group to your desired community. However, it may not be possible depending on our current project locations and the greatest need of our families. Be aware that our construction sites are spread across the seven-county metro area.

Does my group need to provide tools or other supplies?

All tools and equipment will be available on site. You are more than welcome to bring your own if you’d like, just be sure to label them.

Do we need to designate leadership roles?

Your group must designate a primary contact to communicate with us before the build and on On-Site Coordinator who will be on site during the build. The On-Site Coordinator serves as a liaison between the Site Supervisor and volunteers – good communication is essential. Your group may also recruit Crew Leaders who will supervisor groups of 4-5 volunteers on site. Additional information will be provided upon confirmation.

What is the minimum age for volunteers?

For safety reasons, those under the age of 16 are not allowed to volunteer on an active construction site. We require one adult crew leader for every group of four 16- or 17-year-olds working on site. All high school groups, even if their volunteers are18 years old, will need to have at least one adult for every four students. Ages 14 and 15 are allowed to volunteer at the ReStore and on landscaping projects and must have one-on-one adult supervision. All adult supervisors must be 21 years or older. For more information, please see our Getting Youth Involved document.

If you have a question that wasn’t covered here, please email volunteer@tchabitat.org with your question.

Group Volunteers | A Brush with Kindness
What is A Brush with Kindness? | Getting Involved | Sponsorship | Other questions

If you have any questions that are not answered below, please email us at volunteer@tchabitat.org.

What is A Brush With Kindness?

ABWK is a neighborhood outreach program offering home restoration, painting and some landscaping services for qualifying low-income homeowners. Struggling homeowners must often choose between paying for food, medication, taxes and basic utilities. When basic family expenses exceed income, home maintenance is the usual casualty. Outside forces also play a role as homeowners are faced with city code violations and homeowner insurance cancellation.

A Brush with Kindness connects people and restores homes through simple acts of kindness so that homeowners can live in a safe and decent home. The program not only improves the housing conditions for the family, but also the quality of life for the entire community.

How can I get involved?

Preserve A Home Sponsorship: This is an opportunity to make a connection with one family, to help them stay in their home and improve a neighborhood. Your group can sponsor a home and then decide how many days you would like to volunteer (typically 1 to 5 days). Your team leader will work with Habitat staff to determine the scope of the work and develop a comprehensive plan to complete it. You should have an experienced crew leader who is able to lead the project with little or no supervision.

Why do I have to sponsor my workday(s)?

We are extremely grateful for our volunteers! However, we also need to raise funds to cover the cost of materials and site supervision. Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity depends on the financial support of volunteer groups to help defray rising costs. A donation corresponding to your level of participation is vital to Habitat’s mission of making decent, affordable shelter for all people a reality. Please see the Group Volunteer Registration form for details.

How many volunteers do I need?

A typical group size is 13 to 15 people; however some projects can accommodate up to 25. We will match your group to a project that is appropriate for your group size. (Please notify Habitat staff of your group size in advance.)

Does my group need experience in painting or construction?

We welcome all levels of skill and experience! For Preserve-A-Home sponsors, we do ask that you recruit one skilled crew leader who is comfortable leading the project. Your group will be working under little or no supervision from Habitat staff. The rest of your volunteers do not need any specific skills or experience – just a willingness to learn and have fun!

Which dates do you have available?

Opportunities are available from April through October. Please be flexible with your requested dates and we will do our best to match your group to a project. Please confirm that you will be able to sponsor your project and that you will be able to provide a full group of volunteers before making a request. Volunteer groups are matched to projects on a first come, first serve basis. We are unable to hold projects without a completed registration form.

We would like to work in the city where we live or where our business, congregation or school is located. Can you accommodate that?

We will do our best to match your group to a project in or near your desired area. However, we do ask that you be flexible, as we are not always able to accommodate a specific location. We choose families based on greatest need.

Does my group need to provide tools or other materials?

No. All materials, ladders, tools, etc. are available through Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Your team leader will make arrangements with Habitat staff to deliver the equipment to the site.