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General FAQs

Q: I’m interested in volunteering with Habitat. What is the first step to getting involved?
A: The first step is to either read our volunteer descriptions or search the upcoming opportunities we have, including both construction and non-construction. Next you can create an account, view and then express interest or sign up for the volunteer opportunities that work for you.

Q: I have volunteered with a group in the past, but want to come back as an individual. How can I do that?
A: We welcome anyone who volunteered with a group to come back as an individual! Visit our Individuals Opportunities webpage and sign up! If you’re interested in a different opportunity, you can find descriptions on the Opportunity Descriptions page.

Q: Do I have to be there the whole day?
A: Depending on the opportunity, you may have to be there the whole day. Construction and Home Repair projects require a full day’s commitment, which is typically 7.5 hours. The ReStore has 3 – 4 hour shifts available, and can usually be flexible on start and end times.

Q: I have required hours to complete. Is there a way I can get them verified at the end?
A: Yes, you should contact the Individual Volunteer Coordinator (volunteer@tchabitat.org or 612-305-7114) before you begin volunteering to make arrangements for hours verification.

Q: Do you have volunteer opportunities on nights and weekends?
A: We do have some Homebuilding, Repair, and ReStore volunteer opportunities on Saturdays. Otherwise, those are mainly weekdays during the day. We do have some other opportunities with more flexible hours, and some of these may be done at night or on weekends. Further information on these can be found on the Opportunity Descriptions page, or specify your opportunity search based on the times you're available.

Q: I have volunteered as an individual before, but want to do it with a group. How can I get started?
A: If you’d like to get a small group (2-6 individuals) together to volunteer with us, click on the Individuals menu and search for an opportunity that has room for your group. When you go to sign up, there is an option to sign up a team and for you to be the team captain.

For larger groups (7+), you can visit the Groups page and contact the corresponding Constituent Manager to learn more about getting your group involved. If you’d like to volunteer on a regular basis and join a Regular Crew, check out the detailed opportunities signup page. If you have more questions about groups, feel free to contact the Individual Volunteer Coordinator (volunteer@tchabitat.org or 612-305-7114).

Q: I have some days off every week. Can I volunteer on a more regular basis?
A: Yes, we have options for individuals interested in becoming regular volunteers. For more information please see our Opportunity Descriptions page.

Q: How can I learn more about your homebuilding program?
A: Great question! Details about the many programs at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity are covered in the Volunteer Orientation, which is scheduled semi-weekly at our office in St Paul. Learn more about the Orientation and how to sign up by clicking here.

Volunteering FAQs

CONSTRUCTION

Q: I don’t have any construction experience. Can I still volunteer on site?
A: Yes, absolutely! We don’t require any construction experience prior to volunteering. Our site supervisors are familiar with all skill levels and can make everyone useful on a build.

Q: I want to volunteer but don’t want to drive too far to get there. Where in the Twin Cities does Habitat build Houses?
A: Twin Cities Habitat builds houses across the seven-county metro area. We build primarily in the Twin Cities as well as several suburbs, such as Chanhassen and Hugo. All of our sites have their locations in their name and description, so it’s pretty easy to find a place near you!

Q: What do I need to bring with me when I volunteer onsite?
A: All of the tools are provided. We encourage anyone who has their own gloves to bring them, but there will be some extras on Construction and Home Repair sites. You are welcome to bring your own tools too, but we encourage you to clearly label them and keep track of them throughout the day. You should also bring a lunch and water bottle and be sure to wear closed toe and closed heel shoes.

Q: Do you only build houses during the warm months of the year?
A: Twin Cities Habitat builds houses year-round, and we need volunteers all year! During winter months almost all work is done inside.

ORIENTATION 

Q: Am I required to attend Orientation before volunteering?
A: Individuals who want to volunteer one day at a time are not required to attend volunteer orientation. Anyone interested in volunteering long term, such as joining a Regular Crew or volunteering with one of our office-based departments, is required to attend an orientation session. You may find these and other such opportunities on our Opportunity Descriptions page.


Q: How long do Orientation sessions normally last, and when are they held?
A: Orientations typically last an hour and a half. Sessions are held a few times each month at our office in St. Paul, on a variety of times and days. To see when the next orientation is, please follow this link.

AGE REQUIREMENTS

Q: How old do I need to be to volunteer?

A: In order to volunteer on a Construction or Home Repair site, volunteers must be 16 years old – no exceptions. For volunteers who are 16 or 17, there must be an adult chaperone of at least 21 years of age with them. The ratio can be up 4:1 (four youth to one adult). At the ReStore, the minimum age is 14 with a chaperone, or 16 to volunteer on their own. When signing up, there will be specific age information for each opportunity in the description.

Please note that with high school groups, any students aged 18 or older will still require a chaperone when volunteering as a group.

Q: Is there any way for younger youth to get involved?
A: There are many options for youth to get involved with Habitat, both as individuals or groups. For more information on any of these opportunities visit our Youth & Family webpage.

  • Educational Activities: We have developed new curriculum focusing on the importance of affordable housing in the Twin Cities and the impact of unstable housing on youth. These activities can be facilitated by Habitat staff, or staff from an outside organization.
  • Hands-On Workshops: Because youth under the age of 16 cannot be on construction sites, and other youth may not be able to give a full day of volunteering, we have developed opportunities for youth to do hands-on building projects that benefit Habitat but are not new home construction. Our current winter project is building toy boxes that are given as a gift to new Habitat Homebuyers. The spring project is building Adirondack chairs.
  • Fundraising Support: Habitat staff are available to provide ideas and support for youth-led fundraising projects that are both fun and interactive.
  • Youth Directed Projects: Projects created by youth tend to be innovative, and tackle issues of affordable housing in new ways—because of this we are happy to work with groups to develop project ideas that they have.

Q: Are there age limits on volunteer opportunities?
A: No, there are not age limits on any opportunities. We encourage older adults to volunteer with us. We are proud to be involved with the RSVP program, a division of Senior Corps under the Corporation for National and Community Service. We have a large number of older volunteers who give a lot of time to us. For more information on RSVP, you can visit their official website or contact the Individual Volunteer Coordinator (volunteer@tchabitat.org or 612-305-7114).

Group FAQs

Q:What is Home Building?
A:Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes throughout the seven-county metro region using volunteer labor. We partner with families and volunteers to build new affordable homes that help put families on a pathway to new opportunities. Volunteering to build a home may mean working on a townhome of up to eight units or helping rehabilitate a single-family home. It may mean building in Minneapolis, St. Paul or a surrounding suburb. By building a Habitat home, you help to create affordable housing for families in need.

Q: Why do I have to sponsor my workday(s)?
A: We are extremely grateful for our volunteers who donate their time! However, we also need to raise funds in order to cover the cost of land acquisition, building materials and site supervision. Twin Cities Habitat depends on the financial support of volunteer groups to help defray the rising cost of construction. A donation corresponding to your level of participation is vital to Habitat’s mission of making decent, affordable shelter for all people a reality. Please see the group volunteer registration form for details. Sponsorship is required during the summer season but is flexible during the winter season.

Q: Does my donation go toward the build site I am working on?
A: Yes! Your donation is tied to the home(s) you volunteer on. Sponsors at the Build Week level or above will be recognized on a sign placed prominently at the site throughout the build and will be named in The Habitat Herald, Annual Report and Dedication Program. Create a Home sponsors will have additional recognition benefits corresponding to the level of financial support.

Q: How many volunteers do we need?
A: Depending on the date(s) you volunteer and the scope of your project, we ask groups to bring anywhere between 10 – 18 volunteers, depending on the site and season. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more details at volunteer@tchabitat.org

Q: Does my group need construction experience?
A: No. We welcome all levels of skill and experience! All necessary training is provided on-site by a Habitat staff member (Site Supervisor). If your group does have one or more skilled volunteers, consider asking them to be crew leaders.

Q: Which dates do you have available?
A: Our construction schedule is always changing and being updated. Please work with your Habitat Resource Development contact to check availability. If you do not have a Resource Development contact yet, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@tchabitat.org to get started.

Q: We would like to build in the city where we live or where our business, congregation or school is located. Can you accommodate that?
A: We will do our best to match your group to your desired community. However, it may not be possible depending on our current project locations and the greatest need of our families. Be aware that our construction sites are spread across the seven-county metro area.

Q: Does my group need to provide tools or other supplies?
A: All tools and equipment will be available on site. You are more than welcome to bring your own if you’d like, just be sure to label them. Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools brought by volunteers.

Q: Do we need to designate leadership roles?
A: Your group must designate a primary contact to communicate with us before the build, and an On-Site Coordinator who will be on site during the build. The On-Site Coordinator serves as a liaison between the Site Supervisor and volunteers – good communication is essential. Your group may also recruit Crew Leaders who will supervisor groups of 4-5 volunteers on site. Additional information will be provided upon confirmation.

Q: What is the minimum age for volunteers?
A: For safety reasons, those under the age of 16 are not allowed to volunteer on an active construction site. We require one adult crew leader for every group of four 16 and 17 year olds working on site. All high school groups, even if their volunteers are 18 years old, will need to have at least one adult for every four students. Ages 14 and 15 are allowed to volunteer at the ReStore and on landscaping projects and must have one-on-one adult supervision. All adult supervisors must be 21 years or older. For more information, please see Youth Volunteering page.

If you have a question that wasn’t covered here, please email volunteer@tchabitat.org with your question.

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