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Rice County Habitat for Humanity
Something to look forward to.... Faith Builds 2021
Yes!  We are prepping to build a quad (four attached units) in Northfield in 2021 and we need the support of our Faith Community.  We had planned on doing this in 2020.... but, that didn't go as planned.  But, as it happens... things turn out OK.  We were just informed that we got a Thrivent Faith Builds grant for $115,000 for 2021 to help with this project! 

Now it's your turn to support this effort.  Go to our website to fill out this FORM to let us know which crew you'd like to be a part of (painting, landscaping, flooring, appliance install, meal coordination, etc.). 

Do you know someone who is in need of affordable homeownership?  Please have them call Cheri today, 507-323-5167 or sign up for a time to meet with her HERE.
And here's why we do what we do....
Brooke is one of our 2020 Partner Families.  To fulfill some of her "sweat equity" hours she's writing about her experience on Facebook.  Here's something that she wrote that I have read over and over again. It reinforces to me why we work and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.  These are life changing moments we have the privilege to be a part of.

Rice County Habitat For Humanity said they were reviewing my application and my family might be getting a home. I was scared to get excited at first, but I couldn't help myself imagining what our lives might look like in a home that's built specifically for my family. I closed my eyes and saw my son leaving the living room to join me in the kitchen to help wash potatoes for dinner. I saw him chasing his brother from one room to the next, their laughter filling my home and warming my heart. I saw my sons racing out the door to see who can make it to the backyard first. I saw my son living like any other child his age. Visions that would typically break my heart if I entertained them for too long, finally had the possibility of becoming reality. Still, I tried to not get my hopes up too far, or put 'all my eggs in one basket', as my mother would always say. After all, they were only reviewing my application and that didn't mean it was actually happening. So I kept it to myself for a while because I didn't want to jinx it. After what felt like a lifetime, I got another call that they wanted to stop by and give me something a few days later they came with some congrats balloons. We. Were. APPROVED!!!! Habitat for Humanity helped turn pipe dreams into reality. They're giving my son a gift no realtor ever could: a home that understands his abilities, a home that will allow him to make (some) of his own choices... A home built for him.

More than 30 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly took an important step in promoting the idea that everyone deserves a decent place to live by declaring the first Monday in October to be World Habitat Day, and this continues to be relevant and a critical conversation today. As our nation and communities grapple with the impact of a global pandemic and civil uprising, home continues to be at the center. Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota and the Minnesota Homeownership Center are teaming up to host a virtual event on equity in homeownership on Monday, October 5 in partnership with some of Minnesota’s and the nation’s leaders in this work: Natosha Reid Rice, Tawanna Black, Henry Rucker, and Kirsten Delegard. This panel conversation, moderated by Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Cristen Incitti, will be informative and engaging for anyone wishing to learn more about the role of affordable homeownership in building racial equity in our communities.

Here's what you can do:

1) Learn more about our four amazing panelists HERE

2) RSVP to attend the panel today HERE

We had fun at our Drive Thru Appreciation Event!  Thanks for coming and we hope to see you next year IN PERSON!
THANKS Northfield United Methodist Church Women!
It was a pleasure meeting with you to share with you how you can support our Faith Build 2021.  Your church has been a long time supporter and we look forward to 2021 with you!
From our Partner Families
Sometimes our families outgrow their Habitat Homes and it's time for them to move on.  We are delighted for the Benson Family who decided it was time to get a bigger house and a bigger shop for Jeff's expanding home improvement business.  They moved in September and we had a new Partner Family in the house at the end of the month.

This might seem like a weird picture to include in a newsletter... but look closely.  It's the markers for measuring the heights of the Benson kids as they grew in their Habitat house.  One of our volunteers, Lee, who did some light touch up to the house after the Benson's moved out spotted it, paused, and thought about the lives lived in this very spot.  The markers of growth.  What a beautiful treasure.  Best of luck to the Benson Family in their new home where they'll create more memories as a family.

And here's Alyssa Ozmun, the new Partner Family that moved into the "Benson House".  In this picture she's signing all the paperwork with Ryan Blumhoefer, our attorney.  We wish her and her three kids the best as they settle in to their new home. 
Habitat Builds On... 2020 Progress
The Faribault News asked organizations to provide their 2020 progress.  Here's a bit of Habitat's Progress in 2020 that we shared:

“Shelter in Place”, they said.  “Safer at Home”, they said.  For those of us who have homes that are safe, affordable and pleasant those were not harsh words to hear.  But, far too many people in Rice County having insecure, expensive and unsafe housing.  It might be insecure because rent is rising and they may not be able to afford it next month.  It might be unsafe because of domestic violence (which has risen during the pandemic) or it might be unsafe for health reasons (poor air quality and mold are big issues).  And we know too many people are paying too much of their income for housing (26% of households in Rice County, according to Minnesota Housing Partnership).  It’s considered affordable if a household pays no more than 30% of their gross income on housing.

When the pandemic struck Habitat’s first worry was our current Habitat Homeowners.  Would they continue to be able to pay their mortgage (which we rely on for income)?  We were able to modify mortgages for about twenty percent of our Partner Families.  Since then, though, they have been able to get back on track.  Our second worry was building.  Habitat wasn’t sure how we could build the houses we had planned on.  We had planned our first Faith Build for 2020 where we had planned to build a quad (four attached units) in Northfield.  We wanted a large group of folks from our faith community to support our efforts (and they were eager to do so!).  But, clearly 2020 wasn’t the year for that project (but, we look forward to the Faith Build in 2021).  Instead, we pivoted to build three single family homes in Faribault.  We had the land and our Partner Families were ready. 

      But, what about volunteers that we rely so heavily on?  Read more...
For your health... some community updates:
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