Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits
Email Claudia...

Merle Minda
Small Business Columnist
Email Merle...

Kathleen Boe
River Matters Columnist

Meg Forney
Contributor

Doug Verdier
Contributor 

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

Cultural Cornerstones
Search Mill City
Recent News
Front Page Archives
Friday
Jul212017

Habitat for Humanity: Women Build!

Article by Claudia Kittock, Photos by Dave Tinjum

Have you ever thought about building a house? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to gather a group of friends and actually build a house for someone else? That fantasy recently came true for a group of 15 women at a Habitat for Humanity site in Minneapolis. Our team was put together by Cynthia Froid and Susan Boren, and included Lynn Burn, Penny Hunt, Ellen Breyer, Chris Bray, Claudia Kittock, Megan O’Hara, Karla Ekdahl, Roberta Walburn, Frances Wilkinson, Jan Conlin, Chris Shea, Mary Reyelts, Ann Ciresi, and Angela Morken.

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

We built for a full day on Monday, July 17. If you remember that day, it was in the mid-90s with high humidity...it was HOT!!!! Some of us lifted and helped to put in trusses in the garage, others hung sheetrock, while still others helped to finish framing in the basement. It was work that no one had done before, but we were shown how to do it, and had expert help in actually doing it. Our supervisor, Ashley, was incredible. She was skilled, calm, kind, and infinitely patient!

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

 “I LOVED our day together and am
so proud of what we accomplished! I
would definitely do it again, and will
work to improve my construction skills
now that I know how to raise a roof.”

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Habitat for Humanity first grew from Koinonia Farm, a community farm outside of Americus, Georgia, founded by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. On the farm, Jordan and Habitat’s eventual founders Millard and Linda Fuller developed the idea of “partnership housing.” The idea centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. The houses would be built at no profit. New homeowners’ house payments would be combined with no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fundraising to create “The Fund for Humanity,” which would then be used to build more homes.

Today, the vision is for “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”  The principles include a focus on shelter, advocating for affordable housing, promoting dignity and hope, and supporting sustainable and transformative development. Habitat for Humanity partners with people in this community, and all over the world, to help build or improve a place they can call home.

Habitat is currently building 40 homes in the 7-county metro area, while hoping to increase that number to 120 next year. Approximately 2600 people have applied for these homes, emphasizing the crisis in finding affordable housing. Families are chosen for this program by a local Habitat committee. The selection is based on three criteria:

  • The applicant’s level of need.
  • Their willingness to partner with Habitat.
  • Their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.

Once chosen, each family makes a ‘down payment’ of 300 hours of sweat equity. Most of these couples are working 2-4 jobs while finding a way to work those hours. Once the house is finished, the family gets a mortgage from Habitat, or one of several banks who are now partnering with Habitat. The Habitat mortgages are available at 0% interest, while the bank loans range from 2-3%. Mortgage payments are set at 30% of the mean income of the neighborhood of the home. Habitat has a 1% foreclosure rate!

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

What was the day like? Here are some comments from our group. Megan O’Hara said, “I'm definitely on board for another year since it was so heartening to work shoulder to shoulder with strong and fearless women.” Penny Hunt added, “I LOVED our day together and am so proud of what we accomplished! I would definitely do it again, and will work to improve my construction skills now that I know how to raise a roof.”   Everyone agreed that they would do it again in a moment...after a good shower and a great night’s sleep.

If you are interested in helping, there are many ways. Here are a few:
Volunteer or organize a team.
• If building is not something that interests you, click here to learn ways to offer financial support.

Claudia can be reached at claudia@millcitymedia.org

- - - -

And soon, there will be a family looking out this window! 

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

« New Fitness Studio Coming Soon to the North Loop: ALTR | Main | Blood Drive and Giveaways at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet’s First Thursday Event, August 3rd »