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Building Community Blog

Energy filled the ballroom at Tuesday’s Women of Habitat Hope Builders Luncheon. More than 400 guests gathered at the Hilton Minneapolis for good food, fun company, and a conversation about housing, economics, and the empowerment of women. The program featured Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity President/CEO, Sue Haigh, Habitat homeowner, Buffy Moore, and a panel discussion moderated by Dorothy Bridges, Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The fundraising luncheon—now in its 6th year—brought in a record $130,000+ to fund Twin Cities Habitat’s mission.

Homes and families are the foundation of successful communities. Affordable homeownership brings stability to families; it means parents can be ready for unexpected emergencies, kids can dream of attending college one day, and families can spend time together in a safe place. This stability—and the broader economic impact of homeownership—is the topic our Women of Habitat Hope Builders Luncheon on Tuesday, October 3 at the Minneapolis Hilton.

By Michelle Gierke
Guest Blogger and Women Build Steering Committee Co-Chair

The New Year means it is time for the Women Build Steering Committee (WBSC) to get back to work after a brief holiday hiatus and start planning the 2017 Women Build season!   The WBSC is comprised of about a dozen volunteer committee members and one Habitat staff member and, among its responsibilities, the WBSC recruits volunteers, Crew Leaders and Team Leaders for build dates, raises awareness of the Women Build program and even manages to squeeze in some time to celebrate the year’s successes in between. 

Hundreds of women—and a couple dozen men—filled the Hyatt Northstar Ballroom in downtown Minneapolis for the 4th annual Women of Habitat Hope Builders Fundraising Luncheon this past Tuesday. The luncheon raised an unprecedented amountand the highest since the luncheon's inceptionnearly $109,000!

Many guests shared that they were deeply moved by Shauna's speech about growing up in a Habitat home. Shauna, now a sophomore at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, flew in on her day off from classes to share a powerful message on how having a stable home changed her life.

"I'm now 19 years old and fully capable of understanding the great blessing Habitat for Humanity has provided to my family. Safety, stability, and a solid home structure allowed me to focus on my education," Shauna said.

Eight years ago Sheila Kennedy got an email from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity about joining a Global Village build in Mexico. The invitation was very unexpected, considering the fact that Sheila lives in Glendive, Montana, well out of the usual range of volunteers for Twin Cities Habitat. Nonetheless, she decided to go on the trip.

In the same week a report was released naming the Twin Cities one of the most expensive cities for medical costs, a group of leaders from the metro gathered to discuss the impact of housing on health conditions at the third annual Women of Habitat Hope Builder’s Luncheon. An analysis of health care costs by Castlight Health found Twin Cities residents are paying the most on preventive primary care visits compared to 40 other major cities.

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