A group that gives a hand up needs a hand. Brainerd Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity needs help in its effort to help low income working families with housing. Currently, there are five families that are approved for a Habitat home. However, there’s a snag — funds are not available to build even one home.
Until the recession hit, Habitat for Humanity had provided 75 homes that provided shelter for 250 kids and 150 adults. Of those homes built, only one was foreclosed on during the economic downturn. That’s an amazing statistic when compared to the overall foreclosures in Minnesota and Crow Wing County.
The organization has not been standing still, waiting for its ship to come in. It opened a store where they sell recycled building materials salvaged from homes that were targeted for demolition.
With fund that had been flowing into the bank account of Habitat for Humanity being diverted to local food shelves, the organization is appealing to local business, foundations and individuals for help during this decline.
In addition to finding whatever resources available, the organization also cut its staff by three and reduced hours for the remaining staff.
When Habitat for Humanity was in full swing, those families designated for housing were asked to put 300 hours of sweat equity into the construction of their dwelling. In addition, they received training in budgeting, reading and understanding legal documents related to their property, and assumed the mortgage on their home at 0 percent interest
As our economy continues its climb out of the recession there are those businesses, foundations and individuals that might be in a position to offer financial assistance to one of the finest organizations that offers a helping hand to the area’s working poor.
It’s an opportunity to help others in our area.