SAUK RAPIDS -- With the help of volunteers, Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity (CMHFH) is raising the walls on its second "Veterans Build" home.

Veterans Build is a new initiative specifically serving veterans and their families with new homes and zero-interest mortgages.

CMHFH Executive Director Rick Nelson says other Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the country have similar projects for veterans, often in communities with a military base or significant veteran presence.

We just dreamed about possibly doing something positive for the veteran community, as a way of saying thanks and helping a veteran family move forward.

Photo: Abby Faulkner, WJON
Photo: Abby Faulkner, WJON

Volunteer crews of between 5-10 people, many who are veterans, are working daily to complete the two-level, 4-bedroom home. Nelson says local companies frequently send groups of volunteers for the day — many of whom have no construction experience.

It's a fun way to learn about how a house comes together. They have no skills, but they come out, and we teach them everything they need to do.


Nelson says the future homeowners, selected via an application process, are also heavily active in the construction, devoting roughly 200 hours of sweat equity to the effort.

The house is expected to be finished by next summer.

For information on how to get involved with a Habitat project, visit their website.

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