Building Community Blog

Chester: an Army Veteran in need of some repair work so he could stay in his longtime home.

Josh: a Senior Operations Manager at Allianz and co-chair of Allianz’s Operation: SERVE, looking for a way to support local veterans so they can stay in their homes as they grow older.

They both found Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush With Kindness paint and repair program. With additional funding and support from the Home Depot Foundation and the City of Minneapolis, it was a perfect match.

Although Habitat for Humanity is probably best known for our homebuilding and homeownership programs and services, we also offer Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention support for residents of Minneapolis, and health and safety repair services for existing low-income homeowners in the Twin Cities metro area through our A Brush with Kindness (ABWK) program.


Even being around Mary for a short period of time, I can say that she is surely a warm, welcoming, funny, and humble human being... with maybe just a touch of spitfire in her, too. Mary has lived in Minnesota nearly all her life after moving here from Mississippi when she was a young girl. She has owned her house in Minneapolis for 57 years, which is also home to Mary's son, her sister, and her brother. 

Picking and choosing what home projects to tackle and what will remain on the "to do" list, is a common struggle that many homeowners wrestle with. For Lasha and her family, that decision became even more critical, as they pursued insurance options for their home. After conversations with their insurance provider, it quickly became clear that priority number one for the family would have to be repairs to their roof.

Guest Blog contributed by a St. Paul homeowner & A Brush with Kindness client

My husband and I have been employed, paid taxes, paid bills, paid rent, given to charities and supported ourselves since our middle teen-age years. We are now 60 and 56-years-old, respectively. B and I have been together since 1989. We have no children, but are close to our families in Minnesota and Ohio.

Barb has lived happily in her South Minneapolis home for more than fifty years. She raised a son and a daughter there and is deeply connected to her neighbors and community. “I would not want to live anywhere else,” she says. Fortunately for Barb, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) was able to do some repair work on her home through our “A Brush With Kindness” (ABWK) program. Unfortunately, like thousands of other seniors, Barb will likely need much more help to stay in her home over the next few years. Stories like hers are among the reasons TCHFH is developing a new Age In Place program.

By Julia Brauchle
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Staff

April 30th-May 8th was a special week at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH), as we celebrated the 9th annual National Women Build Week.  Each year, with the support of Lowe’s Home Improvement stores, Women Build volunteers complete an A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) home repair project in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.

Over the past few years, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) has worked with The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot, the company's associate-led volunteer force, to help provide homeownership opportunities and home repair assistance for veterans of the U. S. military who qualify. The Home Depot Foundation originally awarded Twin Cities Habitat a grant of $200,000 in 2014, as part of its nationwide commitment to improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans an their families. This past year, The Home Depot Foundation awarded an additional $86,250 to Twin Cities Habitat, for continued support of TCHFH's Veterans InitiativeThe most recent example of this partnership at work occurred just last week on Bonnie's home in Rockford, MN.

Here at Habitat, our primary mission is to create and preserve affordable homeownership in the Twin Cities. Our passionate staff and volunteers continue to work day in and day out, in the hopes of helping just one more family. And we always wish we could do more. 

Each person who connects with and supports Habitat's mission has a different motivation. For some, it may be giving back to the community. For others, it may be their drive to make a difference in the lives of local families. Whatever the motivation, it is always incredibly moving to hear about the impact of Habitat's work in the words of the families that are served by our programs and services. 

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