Jared Laabs is the Marketing Coordinator at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Prior to Twin Cities Habitat, Jared worked within Minnesota State for over 15 years in the Marketing department. Jared is energized by hearing personal stories of triumph and learning about the amazing people we serve in our community. He enjoys learning and trying new things, but has limits. No sky diving.
A few years ago, Audua watched an A Brush with Kindness presentation during a Jordan Area Community Council board meeting, which she was a member of. She learned that this paint and repair program provides health and safety repairs that can help families maintain a safe and stable home.
“My kitchen was a wreck; the bathroom wasn’t functional and had mold,” Audua recalls. The exterior of her home also needed attention and much needed maintenance. It seemed as though the A Brush with Kindness program might be a perfect fit, so she applied. Her family met the programs criteria, and was eventually accepted!
Last year, over 300 Winter Warriors volunteered with Twin Cities Habitat between December and February. And now it’s time for you to join the charge!
“We sometimes see a small drop in volunteers during winter months,” say Volunteer Coordinator and AmeriCorps member, Shannon Twiss. That’s why the volunteer team created a Winter Warrior campaign in 2017.
So what is a Winter Warrior you ask?
It’s anyone that volunteers three times in between December 1 and February 28. From volunteering at the Habitat office, the ReStore, or even a construction site. You can also easily become a Winter Warrior by gathering five friends or family members for a one-time volunteer day.
October 18 was the 4th Annual Senior Pastor Build that brought 11 faith leaders to volunteer on a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity home. Among the volunteers was Thrivent Financials’ newly named CEO Terry Rasmussen. Chris Coleman, President & CEO of Twin Cities Habitat comments, “Habitat International started on a farm. Twin Cities Habitat started in a church basement, with faith leaders who dared to be bold. Today we must be bold again and multiply our collective impact."
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Dual Citizen Brewing Company and eleven other sponsors to build the House that Beer Built. The first day of the build kicked off Monday, August 13, with a large group of volunteers and a ceremonial wall raising. Here at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, it's one of those "small" things that signifies the beginning of something big.
Twin Cities Habitat is proud to partner with the Jordan Area Community Council to bring the 3rd Annual Jordan Week of Kindness. We're celebrating our long-standing commitment to North Minneapolis and investment in the Jordan neighborhood through our Neighborhood Revitalization program. For the past months, we have been working alongside outstanding residents and the neighborhood association to beautify this block through home repairs, a clean-up, and flower planting.
You may think of Twin Cities Habitat as a home builder, but that’s just part of the story. Safe and affordable housing isn’t just a one solution problem. Habitat’s Age in Place program is piloting chore services that strive to keep aging, low-income homeowners in their home and communities as long as possible by providing assistance for household chores that require a helping hand. As homeowners get a little older, a little bit of help goes a long way. We recently visited with Teri, who lives in Mounds View, to learn more about what kind of assistance she needed and discovered a small army of hard-working volunteers from United Properties.
Jack Shea has volunteered with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for an incredible amount of time. For over 25 years, Jack helped build over 16 homes (his best guess), helped with the front desk here at Twin Cities Habitat, and now helps potential homeowners with the new intake process over the phone in the Program Information Center. “Our church started building in 1992,” Jack said. Tres Iglesias, along with a small coalition of other churches, organize several build weeks each year. This partnership brings the community together in so many ways. Whether they're builders, organizers, or lunch crew members, they all work together to support affordable housing in the Twin Cities.
Joe Felion is one of several AmeriCorps members that have transitioned to a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity employee. He currently is a Site Supervisor for the A Brush with Kindness program, which is a home repair program focusing on keeping aging homeowners in their homes. Joe lives life in the moment, but looking back at his work and life experiences, it all makes perfect sense.
Betsy describes herself as being able to communicate better with numbers, so when it began time to find a career path, she chose Accounting. After completing her Accounting degree, she became a bank teller and moved into different roles such as personal banking, commercial loans, home equity loans, and lending. While this provided great work experience, she felt as if her job was creating more wealth for people who already had it. One day, she volunteered for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity on a homebuilding project in Shakopee, Minnesota. That’s when things changed.