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Notes from Nathan: a 2008 Blueprint for Success

Posted: 2008-04-16 00:00:00

One of the success factors in our affordable home building program is the fact that we build a simple yet very functional home. Our homes are very well designed by skilled architects to meet the needs of our families while remaining economical to build and easy for volunteers to construct.
The blueprints for our successes as an organization in building homes with families in need are similarly simple. Four key elements need to come together for each project we plan: land to build on, a family to build with, volunteers, and funds for materials.

For the upcoming 2008 building season we see these
key elements beginning to come together for five projects.

In Virginia we will be building with Deniese Deutsch on a lot next to the Markkula home we built last year. A volunteer team is starting to plan the build and we have Wells Fargo Bank as a home sponsor.

Kelly Ritz will be partnering with our great volunteer team in Hibbing to build their home on the 800 block of 39th street. Wells Fargo will be a sponsor along with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) implementation committee who is sponsoring the home with as much SFI certified building materials as they can find.

A second home in Hibbing will be built with Johnathan and Kimberly Firebaugh thanks to a unique partnership with the Chisholm, Hibbing, Nashwauk high schools and the Hibbing Community College. The students will be in shop classes specifically designed around building a Habitat home thanks to the Applied Learning Initiative. The high schools and college will team up to provide all the volunteer labor for this project. Funding for building materials is being sought from the Hibbing HRA and the Northland Foundation. A key piece to this project is till missing though. We are looking for a lot in the city of Hibbing to build on. If you know of someone who would be willing to donate or significantly discount a building lot for this project please contact us at 866-749-8910.

The city of Aurora donated a lot in anticipation of having an affordable home built in their community. This summer we will be partnering with Joe Otto and Katherine Stordahl to build a home at 22 West 1st Ave North in Aurora. Wells Fargo has committed to help sponsor the project with their Hoyt Lakes branch. The key piece of the project that we are busily putting together this spring is a core group of volunteers: a building supervisor, family mentor, volunteer coordinator and many hands to pound nails are being sought. Please call us to get on a volunteer list for this project.

Key elements for our fifth project are coming together in the city of Soudan. Breitung township has donated a lot through the Tower Economic Development Authority and we are in the process of selecting a family. The volunteer crew that built our 2006 home in Tower is starting to get energized to build another affordable home in this community. Funding for this project began as Joyce Powers donated $10,000 from her property sale and encouraged the buyers to match it as well! Donations from individuals, local churches and businesses are a key element of success for all of our projects.

The only way that blueprints are converted from paper into a home is by many hands making the vision a reality. Without your wonderful help in committee work, prayers, fundraising, and nail pounding we couldn’t help our partner families. Thank you for supporting Habitat’s mission!
-Nathan Thompson
Executive Director