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We are operating virtually until further notice: Read the details. Habitat homeowners: Click for support.

You Can Volunteer Again…Safely!

Jared Laabs
Posted by Jared Laabs on 9:00 AM on November 13, 2020

November 19, 2020 UPDATE:

Effective immediately, we are suspending all in-person volunteer opportunities until further notice.

As a Habitat volunteer, you know safety is always our top priority on site. With the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, we are limiting how we engage volunteers this winter—with safety as our guide. This is one way Habitat is playing our part to help slow the spread of the virus and protect our staff and community.

You can find the most up-to-date information on our Coronavirus Response page.

Volunteers like you are crucial to keeping Habitat home builds on schedule. Our staff spent weeks designing new safety protocols that will provide you with a safe, engaging, and meaningful volunteer experience. And this summer, there are more opportunities for you than ever before!

Volunteering Changes

Your safety is our top priority. Here are just a few of the protocols designed with your safety in mind.

  • Shorter days. Sites are open 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to allow more time for deep cleaning.
  • Smaller crews. Each site has a limit of 6-8 volunteers and social distancing measures are in place.
  • Masks required. Please bring your own mask to site. If you are unable to do this, please reach out to your site supervisor so they can assist you.
  • Wash hands. Handwashing stations are on all sites. You’re encouraged to wash hands often and avoid sharing tools.

volunteer standing outdoors in a light blue shirt, tan overalls, blue baseball cap and a black mask, wearing ear protection while using a power saw.

Expectations for Persons Exposed To, or Exhibiting Symptoms of COVID-19


No person(s) may visit any Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) property who within the last 14 days, has experienced any of the following symptoms (personally, or within their household):

  • Fever (100.4°F or greater)
  • Persistent Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • New Loss of Smell or Taste

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, stay at home regardless of whether you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are unable to be tested. If you have any questions, or if you would like any clarification on what meets the above criteria, please contact us before your arrival.

If Symptoms Appear While on Site or After a Day on Site

  1. Immediately return home and contact your health care provider as appropriate.
  2. Notify your TCHFH contact and site supervisor that you are experiencing symptoms.
  3. Volunteer Management will ask who you have been in close contact with in the past two weeks.
  4. Volunteer Management or your site supervisor will alert those who were in close contact.
  5. Your health status will remain confidential.
  6. Site may be shut-down on short notice in accordance with Safety Policy.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Masks must be worn by staff and volunteers on site at all
    times. Please bring your own mask to site. If you are unable to do this, please reach out to your site supervisor so they can assist you.

Three images - One man in a white shirt and a red plaid mask, looking down. Two - a volunteer in a green shirt, baseball cap and a pink mask, looking over their shoulder at the camera. Three - a volunteer in a yellow safety vest. blue shirt, and a mask, facing away from the camera while painting a windowsill with a brush and dustpan.


  • We will attempt to maintain at least six (6) feet between individuals to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
    • Some construction activities require closer than six (6) feet (framing, scaffold erection and deconstruction, sheetrock, exterior insulation, weather barrier, window and door installation, siding, flooring and cabinet install). These activities will be present throughout the build.
    • Masks are not a substitute for distancing.
  • There will be a maximum of eight (8) volunteers permitted on site at a time. TCHFH will limit the total number of individuals on-site to no more than 10.
  • Each person should use their own set of tools (hand tools, power tools, ladders, power cords, etc.) and materials (screws, nails, etc.) during the course of work where possible.
  • Habitat will provide all necessary tools, but you are encouraged to bring your own hand tools if you have them.
  • Work on separate floors or areas when possible while working on the interior of a home.
  • Work on separate parts of the house where possible while working on the exterior of a home.

Stay Safe While Volunteering

  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds.
    • TCHFH will provide adequate handwashing stations at all sites, including those without running water.
    • Hand sanitizer is recommended if handwashing is not available.
  • Minimize contact with common surfaces (door handles, etc.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover all coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
  • In all instances, maintain at least a six (6)-foot distance between people.

Food and Water

  • Avoid buffet style lunches and snacks. Volunteers should bring their own lunch or groups may cater using boxed lunches, preferably from local businesses.
  • Each site will have a supply of water, but to minimize contact with shared surfaces, we recommend you bring your own.

Additional Sanitation

  • TCHFH staff will sanitize hard surfaces and all tools on site after each work shift.
  • ReStore staff will clean and sanitize common areas, bathrooms, carts, and hard top surfaces on a regular basis (start, mid-day, end of day) and as needed. More thorough cleaning will take place during non-access hours.

We've outlined all of our volunteer guidelines in the below PDF documents. If you have any further questions, please contact our volunteer coordinator at volunteer@tchabitat.org or 612-305-7114.

Next Steps

Before you volunteer, we ask that you watch our safety webinar which covers many of the items listed above. Once you've done that, sign-up for a volunteer day using our scheduling tool, Volunteer Hub!

Watch our safety webinar

We can’t wait to see you out on site this summer!

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Tags: Volunteer Spotlight, 2020

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