Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area has provided safe and affordable houses for many in need.

Last fall, it launched the Habitat for Heroes program and broke ground on the first home for local veteran Jacob Klatte.

However, the pandemic forced the project to stop.

“At the end of March, Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area made the decision to halt all operations at our organization,” said Kahya Fox, the Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area executive director. “So, we closed the ReStore and we halted construction on all six of the homes that we currently have under construction.”

Habitat for Humanity reached out to community partners to see if they could help jump-start some of the construction projects that had fallen behind in April.

West Salem’s Brickl Bros. responded with a crew.

“What a beautiful community we have that when things come up and we ask for help, the entire community steps forward,” Fox said. “It wasn’t really a shock that Brickl Bros. stepped forward to do this because they’ve been so supportive of us over the years.”

Habitat for Humanity says they expected it to take six to eight weeks to finish the house’s frame with fewer volunteers than normal, however, with Brickl Bros. help the frame will be finished in just around a week– taking the project from behind to back on schedule.

“That puts us right on target for our construction schedule for this family, so that will really make a difference to Jacob and his family and then get us back on schedule for the rest of the homes that we’re building as well,” Fox said.

The house is expected to be completed by late summer.

Habitat says the idea of home has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we come home to our homes and have to stay there a bit longer, it’s really great to reflect on the fact that we have many families in our community that don’t have safe homes to go to,” said Fox. “Habitat for Humanity is working hard to make sure we can provide safe and affordable housing to people in our community.”

Habitat for Humanity, which had to cancel its largest fundraiser, says it will be looking in to grants to recover some of the lost income.

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