Lakes Area Habitat For Humanity Celebrates Habitat Week With New Home Build
It has only been four days, but walls and siding are already up on a new home being built by Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity. The area nonprofit kicked off National Habitat Week with starting a 21 day build of a new home for a Brainerd family.
A day that Deb Kowalzek and her son Brady have been long waiting for has finally arrived, as construction began on their brand-new home in Brainerd.
On Monday, Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity in partnership with Lakewood Church began on the project that is slated to take 21 days.
“Here’s a slab on the ground and then all the sudden Monday, the crew just shows up. The neighbors left for work and then when they started driving home they’re like, ‘there’s a house there now,’” said Dave Bostrom, Lakewood Church local outreach pastor.
For the last three years, Kowalzek and her son have been living in a one-bedroom, basement apartment that is plagued with mold and mildew.
“Very damp, a lot of plumbing issues. Me and my son are both on lots of allergy medications to avoid getting bronchitis and pneumonia from all the mold and mildew that we’re exposed to,” said Kowalzek.
Deb cannot wait to move in to their new home, to have a safe and clean living space, and to have a bedroom of her own.
“Right now, my bedroom is my living room couch. The oven and stove burners don’t work properly so I use a toaster oven for most stuff,” added Kowalzek. “So I’m really looking forward to a kitchen.”
Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity, partners, and volunteers have built 110 homes in Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard counties and in the Staples area since being founded around 25 years ago.
“There’s a huge need out there and I think that’s one thing a lot of people don’t realize in our community. We think of the Brainerd Lakes Area and we think of how beautiful it is but there’s another side of it. There’s an affordable housing crisis and there’s many people who can’t find decent, safe, affordable housing,” explained Ruth Ann Veith, Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity Development Director.
Habitat for Humanity does more than just assist people with home ownership – it transforms their lives.
“When I first meet them, they’re at a place where life’s been tough. When they start seeing people investing in them and caring about them it transforms them from the inside out,” Veith added. “We build houses but it does so much more, it changes families’ lives literally.”
Thanks to Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity, the Kowalzeks plan to be moved in and making memories in their own new home August 1st.
Lakewood Church is planning a block party for June 29th to welcome the Kowalzeks into the neighborhood and celebrate their new home.