A home is an amazing thing. It’s a shelter, a refuge, a sanctuary. To the families that Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity has helped over the past 20 years, it’s also a dream come true.
It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago we started building simple, decent and affordable homes in partnership with families in Cass and Clay counties. So here’s a little bit about us, where we came from and where we’re heading.
Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity began in 1991 when Concordia College Pastor Phil Holtan heard former President Jimmy Carter speak about Habitat for Humanity. Inspired by his words, Holtan began a Habitat chapter on Concordia’s campus. Interest in Habitat quickly grew and Holtan decided a local affiliate was needed. On June 1, 1991, Habitat for Humanity International officially accepted Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity as the 609th affiliate in the U.S.
In October 1991, Habitat’s Board of Directors selected the affiliate’s first partner family. Three months later, construction was completed and the first Habitat home in Cass and Clay Counties was dedicated with more than 75 people in attendance.
This past summer, Lake Agassiz Habitat celebrated 20 years of building in Cass and Clay counties. Since its 1991 beginnings, Lake Agassiz Habitat has served 40 families in five communities around the area. 2011’s Barnesville Build will mark the sixth community Habitat has served.
For the 2011 build season, the organization received a record 150 requests for applications. Of the 41 applications Habitat received, five families were chosen to receive new homes. We’ll begin work on the last of our 2011 builds on September 10 with the wall raising for the duplex.
So what have we learned these past 20 years? Well, a lot. But one lesson sticks out. What we do transforms lives. We’re building safe, affordable, well constructed homes. Those things are life-changing to these families.
Want to learn more about Lake Agassiz Habitat and how you can get involved? Visit www.lakeagassizhabitat.org.