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Volunteers work to construct a Habitat house for a family in need



Fargo, North Dakota – On Thursday, over a dozen volunteers worked on a new house in Fargo, completing final touches for an unidentified family.

The community is getting together to repay Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity for building the last house of the year, which is almost finished.

“To me it’s about community, when you get out and volunteer in your community it’s what you make it,” said volunteer Jason Kratcha, who is the General Manager at Innovative Basement Authority.

On Thursday, a local family in need was having a house made into a home by volunteers.

“This is a future home for one of our families that we’re working with and we have a great group of volunteers out here today helping us build,” said Pete Christopher, Resource Development and Marketing Manager for Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity.

In the Fargo-Moorhead region, this is the third Habitat Home constructed this summer. Innovative Basement Authority staff are lending a hand to put the finishing touches on this one.

“They’re in the trades, they’re used to working in basements,” Christopher said. “So we’re not putting them in the basement today, we’re putting them up on the second floor and doing some windows and some things that they get to help build, but maybe not something they do every day.”

“A little bit different, we’re above grade today,” laughed Kratcha.

For one worthy family, ladders, tool belts, and two-by-fours represent the foundation of a fresh start.

“Our homes are not given away, we call our program ‘a hand up, not a hand out.’ Every family that we work with, they help build their own home. They’ll contribute 300 to 500 hours of sweat equity, kind of depending on the family makeup,” Christopher explains.

Putting in the work for a better future, and, giving back to the next family’s forever home in the process.

“They take classes to educate themselves to be a successful homeowner, and then ultimately they repay the cost of their home through an affordable mortgage, and their payments actually get paid forward,” Christopher said.

A lot of people are working together to help neighbors and open up a window of opportunity where everyone may own a home.

“A lot of us are fortunate to have a roof over our head and not everybody has that available to them,” Kratcha said. “So for us that are fortunate to have that, it’s a good thing to do you get out in the community to give back.”

The family should be able to move into their new house in February, according to Christopher. According to Habitat for Humanity, just three or four of the 15 to 20 qualifying families are able to have their homes built each year because of financial constraints.

Although they plan to build four homes the following year, further collaborations and donations may enable them to create homes for more families. Shopping, giving, or working at the North Moorhead Habitat for Humanity ReStore is another way you can help.