“Habitat for Humanity” is a non-profit organization that seeks to build efficient, affordable housing for lower income individuals or families throughout our area. For those who qualify for a HFH home, it’s important to know that this is “not a hand-out, but a hand-up” for them! Those who qualify must demonstrate that they have a steady source of income, be willing to put in some “sweat equality” or a certain amount of hours of labor in actually building their own home, and show that they are able to take care of and maintain their new home. Not everyone who applies qualifies. Habitat For Humanity homes are really for those who cannot afford the higher interest rates or higher costs of homeownership and housing and so they need a little extra help in owning their own house. Most often HFH will either tear down an old home and rebuild it from scratch or they will build on an empty lot. In doing so, this improves the real estate evaluation of the whole neighborhood as well!
I, myself, have been personally involved with HFH for the past 10 years in the different parishes I have served. In the St. Cloud area, I have volunteered to help build six different houses and even had our Parish Staff at St. Peter and St. Paul help build one afternoon as a means to solidify our own working connections and create a sense of stewardship. For me, I personally enjoy doing some physical labor in helping either frame a house, pound some nails, do some landscaping, insulate, etc. all for a good cause. It’s great to see the sense of pride and joy on the faces of those who receive a new house, knowing that they themselves have also been a big part of the construction project. Families who receive a home are so very grateful for the opportunity to live in their own place.
We have a very active group of people in the St. Cloud Area who are involved with Habitat for Humanity, but they are currently in great need for more volunteers to help. Most of the work is outdoors. No experience is necessary since there is a professional contractor who always oversees the build. Working shifts are: Monday-Thursday 8:00 am.- 12:00 pm. and 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm with food provided. The work is not hard, as there is a variety of tasks from more physical to much less labor intensive; such as cleaning up. There are multiple breaks and all the tools needed are provided. With Covid-19, all worksites implement social distancing, wear masks, gloves and the use of hand sanitizer, which is all provided.
Right now HFH is working on a “Faith Build,” a new home under construction on the East side of St. Cloud, on Lincoln Ave. This is an ecumenical build where individuals from all congregations have committed themselves to help build this house. It would be great if members from St. Peter, St. Michael, St. Joseph and St. Paul would be willing to volunteer and do our part. Please contact Chris Boyl at: 320-248-8719 or Rose Blessner at: 320-251-3901. Both Chris and Rose can give you more information, get you (and/or your group) scheduled, as well as help you fill out any construction volunteer forms.
I encourage anyone who would like to get involved to try something new and make a huge difference in some person’s life. Please consider signing up! Building the “Kingdom of God” is not just about reaching deep into our spiritual life with Christ, but it extends from our head, to our hands, and to our heart! Peace and God bless!
-- Fr. LeRoy Scheierl