The St. Louis Park community has been rallying around the 2000th home built by Habitat in Minnesota, located on Texas Avenue. Many local police officers have been volunteering at the site, as well as Senator Al Franken, who was born in St. Louis Park. Volunteers from Thrivent Financial have been pitching in since July as well.
The foundation was built in late July by Thrivent volunteers, and the house has risen rapidly since then. All of the siding is now finished. Site Supervisor Collette and her volunteers will now begin focusing on insulating and sheet rocking the interior.
“The support from everyone in the neighborhood has really made this a fun build,” said Collette. “The family made lunch for all of the police officers volunteering to show their appreciation.”
The family of eight buying the house finished their required sweat equity volunteer hours before construction on their house even began, and they’ve continued to work on their house and houses for others, despite having fulfilled their requirement. They’re very excited to own their first home and to become active members of their community.
Volunteers from Ameriprise have been working hard on two homes next-door to each other in North Minneapolis. This week was the last of their eight week effort building these homes, one of which is for a Minneapolis family of six.
Abdi, his wife and four children are all looking forward to their house being finished around December. They’ve been putting in countless hours into building their own home and homes for other families.
Volunteers from Ameriprise have finished up most painting in their last week, and both houses have nearly completed exteriors.
Abdi said he’s proud of all the work he’s done, and grateful not only for the home he and his family will live in, but for the skills he’s learned in the process of helping to build his home.
Twin Cities Habitat crews have been busy in the southwest metro this summer. They've built (or are building) two homes in Jordan, four homes in Savage and four homes in Shakopee. This week members of the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce are working two of the homes on Philipp Way.
The day I visited they were building the sub-floor for a home that'll be sponsored by Delta Airlines. Across the street, electricians were wiring a home that is much further along. These homes are down the street from one that is being built by volunteers and funds supplied by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its partner congregations. Thrivent is Twin Cities Habitat's single largest supporter. We've gotten great support from local churches, businesses and individuals - but we need even more big-hearted helpers to finish all these homes in time for the Habitat families to buy them.
A Habitat home is also going up on Morab Avenue near Shakopee High School. It's framed and waiting for more volunteers to help with the roofing and interior wall work. Site Supervisor Craig says he could use a lot more help so the project can stay on track. If you, or a group you belong to, want to volunteer for a day, a week or on an ongoing basis please click on the link below.
Volunteers from Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis are putting the finishing touches on a Case Avenue rehab in St. Paul as Week Eight on the site draws to a close.
This week, our faith partners at Plymouth Congregational have been installing kitchen cabinets, building walls in the basement, completing the exterior painting and putting on the base coat and texture on the home's stucco exterior.
"This is their 20th year of Habitat projects," said Site Supervisor Floyd Hansen.
Last week, Baller Family volunteers completed exterior work, re-roofed the garage and painted the inside walls of the home.
Volunteers are especially proud of the white fence they built in front of the home. Only a few days of work remain before this property will be ready for a Habitat homebuyer family to move in!
The last time we visited this site, volunteers from the St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi had just raised the first wall. Now, in their third week on site, the same volunteers have insulted walls, installed house wrap, windows and doors. Plumbing and heating contractors have finished their rough-in work, and the basement floor insulation and foundation coating is complete.
Volunteers helping build this home, sponsored by Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, will be working on soffit, fascia and window trim going forward.
"They have been doing a great job," said Site Supervisor Craig Norton.
St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church is one of many faith communities Habitat partners with to serve hardworking local families. To learn how your church or faith group can join the work of Twin Cities Habitat, visit our Faith Partners website.
Friday was the day to finish up sheet rocking on this Edgerton street home. Since our last visit, volunteer crews have built a porch in front and a ramp leading to the home’s back entrance. Volunteers have also painted the exterior and insulated the walls.
The future homeowners have continued completing their sweat equity hours by working a couple of days each week, said Site Supervisor Josh Waylander. Volunteers from Securian were also out on site this week, continuing theirs generous support of Twin Cities Habitat.
This site won’t host volunteers for the next several weeks, but help is still need on many builds, especially those in the south metro. If you’re interested in signing up to volunteer, register yourself online.
New home construction on Burgess Street is moving along quickly as volunteer crews from Ecolab continue their eight-week sponsorship of this house.
Site Supervisor Katie Ulwelling reports the first floor walls and second floor trusses are set and half of the exterior walls of the second floor are completed. Volunteers are now working to build a staircase from the first floor to the second, and have been making steady progress despite Mother Nature’s best efforts.
“We’ve had to clean up early a few days because of the heat and we had to cancel one day for rain,” Katie said.
Homebuyer Than Tee is also on site for the next two weeks. He will purchase the three-bedroom house with his wife Khin Sai. The couple came to the U.S. from Burma in 2004 and hopes their new home will be a stable place to raise their children, 6-year-old Nay and 5-year-old Thu.
“I’ve been measuring, cutting and nailing,” Than said. “I’ve been doing whatever needs to be done.”
In addition to his own, he’s worked on two other Habitat houses in St. Paul and one in Brooklyn Park. “This is really, really, really exciting,” he said of his new home.
Affordable and sustainable housing is a focus area for the community giving program at Ecolab.
Since 2002, Ecolab has supported the work of Twin Cities Habitat, not only through grants from the Ecolab Foundation, but also volunteer efforts of Ecolab associates who look forward to yearly opportunities to work on a summer-long Habitat project in St. Paul.
If you'd like to learn how your business or corporation can support Habitat's affordable housing program, please visit our website.
Work continues on the Entrepreneurs House in South Minneapolis, and what a special house it is! Site Supervisor Eric Weatherman told me all about the family who will be purchasing this fully handicap-accessible house: two of the seven children use wheelchairs, and their father has lost both his hands.
Their new home will feature roll-in baths and an overhead trolley-style track system to make it easier to get around inside the house. If funding is secured, there will even be chair lifts in the stairway. Electrician Steve Lewis, a long time Habitat subcontractor who has lots of experience with accessible homes, will be adding his expertise to the inner workings of the house.
Eric spoke highly of the volunteers and their enthusiasm, noting that he’d been working with a different crew of volunteers each day. They’d been installing siding that week, and everyone was busy measuring, cutting and using big pneumatic air nail guns to get the job done. Eric was impressed with their progress and cheerfully answered volunteers’ questions as they came to him. I couldn’t stop thinking about what a blessing this house will be for a family in need!
By Andrea Cole, photographer, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
Ameriprise Financial is continuing work on its sponsored house in North Minneapolis. Many volunteers commented on how nice the neighborhood is, especially with another Habitat house next door. The neighborhood is up and coming. It is close to downtown, transit, quality parks and right on the border of some nice properties near Theodore Wirth Park.
Missy Smith, a project manager and one of the volunteers from Ameriprise, has been with the company for 11 years and has built with Habitat every single year. When asked why she keeps coming back, she enthusiastically exclaimed, “I love helping out and building life skills!” She went on to say a lot of the skills she was learning through volunteering with Habitat have helped her make much-needed repairs to her own house.
All of the volunteers on this fine day had only the best things to say about their beloved company. They sang praises for Ameriprise’s commitment to serving the community, the people thy work with, the benefits and flexibility. “The best part about Ameriprise is their philanthropic ventures, I think it’s just awesome,” said employee Joan Vader.
Site Supervisor Dave Matzo said this week the group was working on interior walls and roof trusses. He said work is going well and the rain and heat from this week didn’t slow down the group at all. Ameriprise employee Cedric said, “I’m going to sleep well tonight!” because he got such a good work out while helping Habitat.
It’s week six of eight for the Case Avenue rehab in St. Paul, and the Faith Builders are taking a little break.
They were waiting inside not because of the heavy rain Wednesday morning, but because of the lightning – Habitat’s safety standards require a half-hour break after each sighting.
“There’s nothing to do inside on a day like today,” said Site Supervisor Floyd Hansen, explaining that contracted drywall finishers had already taped the sheetrock indoors. In their second week on site, the multi-church crew of volunteers had been finishing sheet rock; last week they worked on sheet rocking and hanging doors. Going forward, they’ll work on window trim, soffit and fascia.
“I always get good feedback from volunteers,” said Chuck Griggs , the Faith Builder’s interim leader and a member of Unity Unitarian Church in St. Paul. “People who don’t have construction experience are always surprised that they are welcomed and wanted; and they learn construction skills, too.”
Learn more about becoming a Faith Partner of Twin Cities Habitat!