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HOME: #63 The Robinson Family

Location: Hibbing

Date Started: October 01, 2013

Date Complete: August 04, 2014

HIBBING — Rebecca Robinson set a goal to have her Habitat for Humanity house finished well before her children’s school year started.

Her hope was that the gap would allow the family to settle into the home before the busyness of the school year kicked in.

With help from friends and volunteers, the Robinsons’ goal was achieved right on schedule.

The dedication for the home, which was reacquired by Habitat and needed work to update it, will be 2 p.m. Sunday, with move in early next week.

Nathan Thompson, executive director of the North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity, said he usually doesn’t like to set deadlines for projects, but Robinson was determined.

“I always hesitate on setting deadlines when it’s working with volunteers, but it worked out,” he said.

Thompson credited the hard work of the Robinsons, the volunteers and members of the family’s church, Open Door Church, for completing the house so fast.

Now that the hard work is behind her, Robinson said it’s an overwhelming feeling of anticipation as the dedication, and the move in that will follow, approaches.

“I’m very excited at this point, but it’s been very overwhelming at the same time,” she said. “I’m just ready to be done and moved in and not have to juggle getting hours in, the kids and a full-time job.”

Moving in on time will also give her daughters, in seventh and 10th grade, the whole month of August to adjust, she said.

“I just wanted one month of normalcy to get used to the place and then go to school,” she said. “I have my youngest just starting high school so I said, ‘no, we’ve got to get this done before Aug. 1.”

Robinson put the time in to make sure her goal was realized, Thompson said.

“She made that her goal and she did really good,” he said. “They’re a goal-oriented family and she set that for herself.”

Robinson said she had plenty of help along the way, including from members of The Open Door Church, which she’s been a part of for about 17 years.

“It was a real huge blessing to see people who actually enjoy helping without expecting something in return,” she said.

Stepping back and letting others help was one of the more difficult steps in the process, she said.

“I’m really independent so it’s been frustrating not knowing how to do everything, but I’ve learned a lot about myself learning it’s not a bad idea to ask for help,” she said.

And if it wasn’t for her sister, who recommended she apply to the organization and then reminded her again days later when Robinson seemed hesitant to go through with it, the house might not be hers, she said.

“From that point I just left it up in the Lord’s hands, because my first thought was no way could I pull this off by myself owning a home,” she said.

Feelings of wariness are common among families thinking of signing up, Thompson said. In many cases it’s because they aren’t confident about their chances of receiving a house.

Robinson said she was comfortable at her current residence, but couldn’t pass up on the opportunity.

Stopping at the house Thursday, power tools and sawdust were still in the living room, but otherwise work was finished. Looking around the house, Robinson pointed out the differences between her current and future residences.

She was quick to note that she couldn’t have asked for a better landlord, but the old house was getting outdated. While people keep asking when she might paint the white walls in her new home, for instance, she tells them that she likes them because they’re so different from the walls at the place she’s lived for 10 years.

“Everybody keeps asking me ‘when are you going to paint?’ I’m not right away because the place I’m in has wallpaper and paneling and is just very outdated, so I’m enjoying the white walls. I’m OK with that right now,” she said.

Like the work, all the packing is pretty much done too, leaving just the hauling and moving over left before settling into the house, she said.

Because of the hard work put in by her, her church and Habitat, the move should go smoothly, she said, adding that she feels her time with Habitat has been a rewarding experience that she hopes to pay forward with future projects in Hibbing.

“I think because of where I’m at in my life I just feel so blessed and honored to have this experience and work with the Habitat people,” she said.