Habitat for Humanity postpones building House 28 due to pandemic


By Lori Henricksen
Habitat for Humanity

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” — Jimmy Dean.

Affordable homeownership for Archuleta County families is our “destination.” There are times that we need to adjust to reach that destination — and one of those times is now. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected our ability to ensure the volunteer labor force and worksite safety requirements necessary to build House 28 this summer. 

Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone the build until next summer. 

We’ve been partnering with our House 28 family since September of last year. They completed their homeowner education classes, qualified for an affordable mortgage and were starting their sweat equity hours. They are ready for homeownership. So, instead of going half-mast, they adjusted their sails and found an existing home that their mortgage could be transferred to. We are thrilled that they are on track to be homeowners this summer, and that their home will provide a strong foundation to build strength, stability and self-reliance for their family. 

Be assured that we’re not sailing off into the sunset for the rest of the year. We will be focusing on our Neighbors Helping Neighbors repair program. This utilizes smaller volunteer teams and conditions that can be more easily adapted to safety requirements. We still need all hands on deck. If you can volunteer some time to help seniors safely age in place, let us know. We have a variety of projects and times to volunteer for.

We’ll also use this time to chart our course for the new build in 2021. We’re currently reviewing applications for partner families, and will be selecting the 2021 family this fall. The pandemic has accentuated the need for affordable workforce housing in our community — all of our applicants work in jobs that provide necessary services to our community. 

The wind will be changing — and Habitat Archuleta will stay on course to build and improve safe, affordable homes that provide a stabilizing force for families, their neighborhoods and our community. 

Please join us — a donation of your time or money helps someone help themselves to a better life.

Executive Director Lori Henricksen may be reached via email at director@habitatarchuleta.org or by calling 264-6960.