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Habitat for Humanity gets $135,000 grant

Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota announced its award of a $135,000 Rural Community Development Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

HFH-MN will use the funds during the next three years to expand its Training and Technical Assistance Program. HFH-MN will provide customized technical assistance in the areas of community development and nonprofit organization management to 20 Habitat affiliates serving rural communities ranging from Brainerd to Winona to Owatonna to Grand Rapids.  

HFH-MN is one of three community-based organizations in Minnesota and one of the 44 organizations in the nation selected to receive a RCDI grant from the $6.5 million awarded. 

  Kevin Pelkey, Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity executive director, said the affiliate and board will greatly benefit from the expanded training and technical assistance as training is critical to build the affiliate’s capacity to provide additional affordable homeownership opportunities to partnering low-income families.

HFH-MN’s expanded Training and Technical Program will include training in the following areas: Board development, family services, financial management, fundraising, sustainable/green building, and ReStore operations, which sell new and used building materials to the public with the revenue used for Habitat homebuilding.  

HFH-MN will bring the capacity building trainings directly to rural affiliates’ boards of directors to maximize community impact and participation. HFH-MN’s emphasis on rural Habitat affiliates aligns with the USDA’s focus on rural communities. 

Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development state director, said the USDA was pleased to partner with the Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota to help eliminate poverty and homelessness in Minnesota’s rural communities.

“This grant will help Habitat Minnesota make an even greater impact in rural Minnesota,” she said. 

HFH-MN is a statewide resource development and support organization with the mission of serving, advocating for and advancing the work of Minnesota’s 33 Habitat affiliates to build and renovate simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need. In July 2011, HFH-MN will celebrate the construction of the 1,900th Habitat home in Minnesota. 

For more information on Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, visit