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Building Community Blog

Last week and this week, more than 60 volunteers are participating in the 4th annual Rainbow Build, which aims to raise awareness for issues involving affordable housing in the LGBTQ community. It’s an opportunity for LGBTQ volunteers and allies to spend a day building with us and learning about the unique housing challenges that impact this community.

Last week, more than 50 volunteers, sponsors, and staff gathered in St. Paul to celebrate Huda, Shamis and Aligele's new home.

Huda, Shamis and Aligele, along with her brothers Abdulrakib, Abdulrhman and Ahmed, are excited about moving into their new home. After growing up in Somalia, and having to move frequently in Minnesota, they are looking forward to having a safe home to live in. Huda’s brothers are most excited about having their own rooms and a quiet space for studying.

Huda shared her gratitude for everyone who helped to make his family's home a reality.

“Our futures have already changed educationally, financially, and morally. With a home of our own there will be no more moving from country to country or city to city. We will finally have a stable, constant home that will be ours forever.”

“Yaa mana ofii.” This Oromo language phrase is very common in Ethiopia. It means, “home is everything.” Yemane and Bizunesh, who bought their new Habitat home in West St. Paul in July, say the phrase comes from living desperate lives in Ethiopia. "It means home is where hunger and pain reside. But it also means home is where joy and love live.” Yemane says, “Everything in your life is sheltered by home. It can mask your need, but it also protects everything you have, especially your family.”

Nothing says summer like sun, BBQ, live music and your favorite cold brew. Plus, it's even better if you get to enjoy these things while supporting a great cause. Approximately 1,350 people attended the 5th annual Blues, Brews & BBQ event Saturday August 6, 2016. This unprecedented number broke the previous attendance record of 1,200. Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth hosted the event on its spacious campus as part of its Higher Grounds music series. 

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