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Five homes in one year: Habitat for Humanity still building despite pandemic struggles

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:45 PM CDT
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MONDOVI, Wis. (WEAU) -As the cost of construction has grown over the last year, one organization focused on affordable housing didn’t let that stop them.

Five houses and 10 remodeled homes in one year--that’s Habitat for Humanity’s goal here in the Chippewa Valley.

Despite pandemic-related issues, Habitat is still on track to reach those numbers.

Executive Director John Dawson said this past year has created some challenges for Habitat for Humanity in the Chippewa Valley.

“We’ve had struggles with materials, rising prices, people not coming to our Restore,” Dawson said. “Donations were down, grants were down, but we just figured out ways to do it better.”

While some materials were delayed like the siding on this home, others were hard to find.

To keep on helping people get affordable housing, Habitat made some changes from how future home owners fund their projects to expanding available services at its store.

One expansion: the Restore now takes broken, unwanted items too for a donation.

“People are always shocked to hear that,” said Mark Dunn with the Restore. “We love getting a stove and refrigerator that are really nice that we can clean up and sell, but if you have one sitting there that doesn’t work, we’ll take that as well.”

Now that things are getting back to normal, the Restore is keeping busy with donations.

This year Habitat has also benefited from some major donations like these wooden trusses waiting to become the next Habitat house in Mondovi.

For Dawson working through anything is what Habitat is all about.

“A pandemic like this is challenging for Habitat, but it actually defines Habitat because habitat is about finding a decent place to live for everyone in the world,” Dawson said. “That’s their goal that everyone in the world has a decent place to live.”

Since 1976 Habitat for Humanity International has helped build more than 800,000 homes around the world helping 13 million people. In the Chippewa Valley, Habitat has built more than 40 homes.

To find out about Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity and ways to donate or volunteer, click HERE.

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