Habitat for Humanity of Dane County Launches New Program That Gives Back to the Community

There’s an old adage that says a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. That could describe the exceptional work that Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is doing via its newly launched Home Repair Program. Volunteers are hard at work improving area homes as well as surrounding communities.

Valerie Johnson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has unending enthusiasm for the work Habitat is doing in the community. The organization is well known for building homes. Johnson points out, “In the past 28 years we have partnered with 249 families to build homes in Dane County. But now we are also repairing homes for homeowners who qualify for the program.”

This local program is associated with the national “A Brush with Kindness” program.  Launched locally this year it already has made a difference in many homeowners’ lives.

Johnson says, “We love it when neighbors see the Habitat signs, then stop and thank us for making their neighborhood a better place.”

Homeowners are most appreciative of the work. “We are hearing homeowners say they greatly appreciate their better functioning home,” says Johnson. “They also tell us they are learning about repairs since they often help out. They talk about the new pride they have in their home, their neighborhood and community.”

Volunteers Needed to Update Homes for Safety and Durability

Eric Nelson, a site supervisor with Habitat’s Home Repair Program, explains the program gives back to the community by helping homeowners who need extra hands for needed repairs so they can continue to live in their homes safely and comfortably.

The projects vary widely from rebuilding steps or a deck to painting a house. It does not include roofing. “Our goal is to help homeowners be more comfortable and safe and also upgrade areas that aren’t up to code,” says Nelson.

Almost all improvements involve some landscaping work like fixing retaining walls so maintenance is easier for the homeowner.

Nelson says projects typically run one week to four weeks depending on weather. One of the largest projects the group has undertaken is painting and scraping an entire house. The improvement also included upgrading downspouts and gutters.

A core of volunteers are currently needed for this time sensitive work. “I thoroughly enjoy being able to help others train to do the needed work,” says Nelson.

Habitat needs volunteers for all types of repair work for this program. Johnson adds, “We are looking for groups and individuals on a one-time basis or on-going ‘regulars’ to help us grow this program. “


Contact Valerie Johnson to learn more:  (608) 235-5595 or visit www.habitatdane.org.