Habitat for Humanity of South Central MN to meet with MN congressional members about the need for affordable housing 

Washington DC, February 6, 2023— Habitat for Humanity of South Central MN (HFHSCMN) will join hundreds of local Habitat organizations and affordable housing advocates in-person this week for Habitat for Humanity’s annual legislative conference, Habitat on the Hill.

During the three-day, D.C.-based event, advocates will convene and meet with Congressional leaders to draw attention to and discuss actionable solutions to housing affordability challenges faced by rural, suburban, and urban communities across the nation. 

This year the conference is focused on themes highlighting advocacy for impact, with special emphasis on advancing Black homeownership and addressing the historic low supply of affordable homes.

HFHSCMN will meet with Brad Finstad, Tina Smith, and Amy Klobuchar to discuss federal solutions that will help increase access to affordable homeownership in every state including MN/South Central MN.

Sondra Herman, Executive Director of the HFHSCMN affiliate states, “Through our advocacy efforts, we’ve been successful in implementing the use of USDA Rural Development funds in the rural communities of our service area, but there is still more work to be done. We are calling on Congress to support the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act and robust funding for vital housing and community development federal programs.”  “Through continued advocacy efforts, we hope to expand our programming locally to increase the positive impact on the communities and families we serve. Funds provided through the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, USDA Rural Development, and other federal programs can make a great impact on our ability to address the barriers to affordable housing that exist in our communities” says Herman.

Habitat Has Broken Ground for the 25th Time in Collaboration with the High School

Habitat Has Broken Ground for the 25th Time in Collaboration with the High School
Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation continue to support the Building Trades Class

St Peter, MN — Ground has been broken for the Habitat for Humanity and St Peter High School’s Building Trades Program as the new school year begins. Habitat for Humanity and the Building Trades class has been building homes to meet the community need for affordable housing for 25 years. The collaboration between Habitat and the Building Trades class allows for high schoolers to get hands on building experience and an opportunity to participate on a project that has a lifelong impact on a Habitat family and the community.

Each year, the Building Trades class offers 12-18 students a rigorous and relevant hands-on learning curriculum which helps meet the community need for affordable housing. Habitat provides the building materials and students build the home under the guidance of their teacher while they learn essential skills preparing them for occupations in the building trades.

Habitat is committed to continue to offer families in St Peter the option to attain homeownership affordably. Families with access to affordable homeownership offers them a hand up not a handout creating improved safety, child education attainment, and build generational wealth. The St Peter Building Trades teacher and students are a vital part of this mission. Generous financial partners including the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation continue to consistently support affordable housing in St Peter and the Building Trades class through this collaboration.

About Habitat: Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity South Central Minnesota has built 145 homes and 630 individuals in Blue Earth, Sibley, Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Nicollet counties. Through shelter, we empower. Interested in donating or volunteering to support the Mankato build? Visit habitatscmn.org.

Groundbreaking in Mankato

Join us for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ruiz Family in Mankato!
📅 August 10, 2022
⏲️ 3pm
📍 160 Monks Ave, Mankato, MN 56001
Want to learn more about Habitat and how to volunteers? Visit habitatscmn.org

Habitat Fiftieth Groundbreaking is Good News for Affordable Homeownership in Mankato

Community members and neighbors are invited to the fiftieth Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking celebration!

Mankato, MN— A Mankato family of four mark an important milestone in the construction of their new home and the community is invited to join in the groundbreaking celebration on August 10, 2022, at 3pm at 160 Monks Ave.

The Ruiz family will be the fiftieth Habitat homeowner in Mankato. Habitat for Humanity is a hand up not a handout. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Homeownership offers many benefits for families, communities, and local economies and Habitat is excited to partner with the community of Mankato to build more affordable homes.

Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.

About Habitat: Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity South Central Minnesota has built 145 homes and 630 individuals in Blue Earth, Sibley, Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Nicollet counties. Through shelter, we empower. Interested in donating or volunteering to support the Mankato build? Visit habitatscmn.org.

Jeremy’s Story

For Jeremy, his childhood started out with constant change.  However, with a healthy dose of hard work and perseverance, he was able to find stability in his Habitat home. The son of an Army member, he spent his childhood moving from house to house in places like Virginia, Germany, and Washington before finally ending up in Marshall, MN. When he was 21, he moved to Mankato and attended South Central College to become an Emergency Medical Technician.

After getting his certificate, Jeremy worked as an EMS for one month before he decided that the job was not for him. He worked all over before he landed a job at the state hospital in Saint Peter, where he worked from 2003 to 2013.

Then Jeremy’s life took a turn for the worse. He became an alcoholic, he lost jobs, and his credit dropped. He decided to turn his life around and quit drinking in 2015. As part of his recovery, counselors he worked with had him create a 5-year plan. He put down that he wanted to buy a house, which was something he saw as almost unattainable.

Jeremy pushed himself to meet those goals, working two jobs to save as much money as he could. However, he used it all in 2017 to hire an attorney and fight for custody of his young daughter, Gillian. She will turn 5 years old this June.

Jeremy started to work towards his goal of owning a home once again, but it was harder to save with a little girl to take care of and spend time with. However, he wanted to get into a house even more than before. He wanted to provide a stable home for Gillian to grow up in, someplace to make lasting memories.

Banks were not able to help him, because of his poor credit. He didn’t qualify for government aid and it seemed that he got denied anytime he tried to seek financial support.

His luck turned around when he ran into a former neighbor who is a current Habitat homeowner. She faced similar credit problems but was approved for our program and encouraged Jeremy to apply. He went home and filled out our pre-application, without much hope that he would qualify. He committed to filling out the full application and was initially denied because of debt. The board recommended that he work with our finance manager to learn more about credit debt and money management.

“[That] was a key piece to get to home ownership,” Jeremy claimed. After working with our team, Jeremy paid down his debt and was accepted into the Habitat homeowner program.

His next step was completing the 200 hours of “sweat equity” that Habitat requires as part of the program. He spent almost all his free time in the ReStore, he mowed lawns and maintained lots, he worked in his new house and finished painting, he spent hours helping fold and address our last newsletter.

He was anxious to get in and was very hands-on with USDA and the final steps of the approval process. Jeremy closed on February 19th with Habitat and became the proud owner of a new home, just over 5 years from the start of his 5-year plan.

Jeremy wants people to know his story so that they realize they can achieve homeownership as well. He said, “It wouldn’t have been possible without being accepted into Habitat.”

We are glad to help Jeremy create a stable home for Gillian and reward him for his sacrifices and hard work. We hope that you join us in wishing him the best for his future as a homeowner!

Annual Meeting

Join us for the annual meeting where we discuss the annual report and the vision for the next year!

📅 Monday, May 23 at 12:15-1:30PM

📍 Pioneer Bank- 1735 Commerce Dr. North Mankato, MN 56003

Get On The Beam Starts April 18

Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Get on the Beam’ lets the community literally leave their mark on a habitat home. The campaign starts the week of April 18 when 2’x4′ beams are delivered to local businesses, organizations and churches. Community member will have the opportunity to sign their name or leave a note of support for future habitat homeowners after leaving a donations. Each beam will be used in a Habitat home and the donation will go toward providing families with the opportunity to have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. Beams were donated by Lloyd Lumber and Builders First Source.

Interested in hosting a beam? Contact Juliann at juliann.wiersma@habitatscmn.org

List of beam hosts:


  • Independent Paint & Flooring
  • Lloyd Management
  • Ardent Mills
  • Clifton Larson & Alan (CLA)
  • Minnesota Paving and Materials
  • Midwest Softwash

Faith Communities:

  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Messiah Lutheran Church
  • Hosanna Lutheran Church
  • Grace Lutheran Church
  • Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
  • Epiphany Lutheran Church- Eagle Lake

Special thanks to Eide Bailly for supporting the campaign!