Building Projects...

2021 in Calmar

Latest Habitat House Built

Check out this virtual tour (click on the photo above) of the latest completed house in Calmar by clicking on the photo above. Thank you to Harman Realty for putting the virtual tour  together.

The 33rd home built by WCHfH!

Congratulations to Lori Kuboushek and her children, Katelyn and Kyle, on recently moving into their new home--the 33rd home built by WCHfH! And thank you to Luther College students Ethan Bellendier and Sarah Hoehns for helping Lori, Katelyn, and Kyle on moving day!

More Moving In Photos

Katelyn and Kyle building...

See more...   trusses installed (1)... trusses installed (2).   

2018-19 Ridgeway Blake Home

Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity held its “blitz build” to raise the walls of its 31st home on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 435 Pike Street in Ridgeway, Iowa.  The partner family for this home is Rachel Blake (and her three children).

Dedication of the Blake Home: #31


Participating in the dedication of the latest Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity Home October 14, 2018 in Ridgeway, Iowa, were (left to right) Father Dan Knipper; Gus Johnson, WCHfH executive director; Bob Krzyzanowski, WCHfH president; Brody, Rachel, and Cameron Blake, the latest WCHfH partner family; and Mary Jo Hangartner, WCHfH vice president.

Numerous volunteers helped the Blake family build their new home, the 31st erected by WCHfH since its inception in 1992. Jake Huinker of Jake’s Roofing donated the labor for the roof; Jeff Schaller provided labor, installing all the flooring throughout the home; Luther students helped with drywall preparation; a Stanley Engineering crew helped with painting; and more than 45 other individuals volunteered their time and talents to put up walls, windows, and cabinets.

Dahl House: Hesper

The project begins with the removal of the bell from the Quaker Meeting House on October 11, 2016.

See more photos of the bell being moved...

And more photos of the progress of the build...

Calmar 2016

Despite the chilly drizzle, several enthusiastic Luther students helped put up the walls on the Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity house in Calmar during the October 31st Blitz Build. Experienced Habitat construction volunteers, Site Manager Dale Olson and Executive Director Gus Johnson rounded out the crew.

“It’s always exciting when we can end the Blitz Build knowing that the house already has four walls up,” stated Johnson.

Blitz Build Crew

Supervision: Ken VandeBerg, Dale Nimrod, and Gary Hildebrandt

Steve Yoder: Builder, Home owner

Habitat has a requirement that the partner family put in 150 hours of “sweat equity” for each adult member of the family. Therefore, the 2015 family Steve and Nichole Yoder were both on site. The building process will continue every Tuesday and Saturday beginning at 8:30 AM and volunteers are always welcome. Tools and supervision by Dale Olson will be provided. The goal is to complete the house by the end of 2015.

2015 Ridgeway Habitat House Dedication

On Friday, May 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm the 27th Habitat for Humanity House built in Winneshiek County was dedicated in Ridgeway.  There was a brief dedication ceremony officiated by Pastor Mark Kvale, who is a member of the Winneshiek Habitat Board.  The house is located at 425 Pike Street.  Family and friends came to the dedication and to view the house. 

Paul and Meagan Sobolik, the partner family, were living in Cresco in an upstairs apartment. Paul works at a local turkey farm and Meagan is a clerk at the new Spectrum Thrift store in Decorah. Their daughter, Maycee Mae, is four years old and in preschool.

“I’m anxious to get in and settled before the arrival of our second child in early July. We’re so grateful to have a home and yard as our family grows,” said Meagan. As the partner family, the Soboliks were required to provide 150 hours of volunteer help to assist in building the home. More photos of the Dedication Day...



Dedication of Kimber/Straube House

“May this home we dedicate today become a beacon of hope for this family and for others.” With these words, Gus Johnson led the dedication ceremony for the Spillville Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH) home for Jeff Kimber and Cathy Straube. Family, friends, and Habitat Board members surrounded Jeff, Cathy, and their daughter Kiah as the keys were handed to them on Sunday afternoon, February 15, 2015.

Jeff Kimber, Cathy Straube holding daughter Kiah, Gus Johnson, Georgie Klevar (pres.) and Ken Vande Berg (VP)

Jeff and Cathy expressed their gratitude, “We appreciate everything that so many of you have done to help us with this home: family members, grandparents who baby sat Kiah so we could work on the house, the construction volunteers, food donors, and many others.” 

Construction of the Spillville home began in September on property donated by John and Mary Klimesh.  The outside work was completed in time to do the inside work in early winter.

The Spillville house is the 28th home built by Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity since it was organized in 1992.  Homes built previously are located in Burr Oak, Calmar, Castalia, Decorah, Freeport, Ossian, and Ridgeway. Plans are underway to select the location for the 2015 house.

The Mission of Winneshiek County Habitat is to serve all of Winneshiek County by building homes for low-income families who meet the guidelines of Habitat for Humanity International.  After the homeowners pay a $500 down payment, they must have sufficient income to make payments on a 25-year mortgage at 0% interest. In addition, the families must give volunteer time on the build.

Cathy Straube and Jeff Kimber (center) met John and Mary Klimesh for the first time at the site of their partially built new home in Spillville. Cathy and Jeff are the 2014 partner family for Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity. John and Mary, donors of the lot on which the house is being built, visited the site to see the construction progress of the second day of the Blitz Build.

With the help of several volunteers including Luther students, the Blitz Build crew was able to erect the studs and build walls on all four sides of the house and garage. Cathy and John and some of their family members also participated. Habitat has a requirement that the partner family put in 150 hours of “sweat equity” for each adult member of the family.

The Blitz Build on the Kimber/Straube house took place on Saturday, Oct. 11. Photos...

2013 Habitat for Humanity in Ridgeway:
The Sobolik's



Paul and Meagan Sobolik, along with forty Habitat for Humanity volunteers, helped raise the walls on their new home in Ridgeway at the November 16/17, 2013 “blitz build.” The Soboliks and their three-year old daughter, Maycee are the 2013 Partner Family selected by the Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity Board.  Meagan stated, “We are looking forward to having a place that is our own and that has a yard in which Maycee can play.”

Habitat for Humanity has added the phrase “blitz build” into everyday language thanks to its campaigns to put concentrated and coordinated effort into the beginning process for building homes.  Volunteers assemble on a target date and together begin the massive effort of building an affordable home for a family selected by the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

The workday began with a dedication service led by Reverend Jeff Hansen, Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Ridgeway. Twenty Luther College students joined experienced builders to raise and sheath the walls and out up the trusses. The basement had already been constructed and capped in preparation for the blitz build.

“Once again we made tremendous progress in one weekend. This year’s volunteers stuck it out through wind, rain, and cold. I’m grateful to the volunteers and to those who donated the food and beverages for us: Luther College Sedexo, Java John’s, Fareway, and Phyllis Burri,” said Gus Johnson, Executive Director of Habitat.

Tuesdays and Saturdays are workdays for continuing the construction of the new home.  All volunteers are welcome whether rookie or veteran builders. They will be directed by experienced Habitat personnel, who are familiar with construction procedures and processes. For further information, contact Gus Johnson at 563. 382.1802.

More Blitz photos...

Sobolik House 2

The basement has been excavated, footings poured, and plumbing roughed in.  And the basement walls are being poured.

Sobolik Basement


Ridgeway blitz

This will be the 27th home built by Winneshiek Habitat since it was organized in 1992.  Homes have been completed in Burr Oak, Calmar, Castalia, Decorah, Freeport, Ossian and Ridgeway. 


Sobolik Family

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, a crew of able-bodied helpers came together to put up walls for the new home of Paul, Meagan, and Maycee Mae Sobolik.

More photos...

2012 Habitat for Humanity House: Dahl/Thiele

Men at Work

See the Blitz Build... | See the Roofing Wrestlers... | November Photos...

The 26th home being built by Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH) during fall 2012 will be the third house co-sponsored by Luther College.  Located on Division Street in Decorah, the house is part of the Luther Neighbors project.  Luther will be the major partner with WCHFH in completing the house.

Rachel Vagts
The Luther Neighbors project is the final one of Luther’s many Sesquicentennial events.  It was initiated as a means of expressing gratitude to the Decorah community for the neighborliness the community has shown to Luther College for 150 years since Luther was founded in 1861. 

Students helped raise funds toward the $50,000 goal and are providing volunteer labor to complete the Luther Habitat house.  They arranged for a $10,000 matching grant, partnered with area businesses such as T-Bock’s and Culver’s to raise funds, and initiated can and bottle redemption activities.  No student tuition money went into the project. Rachel Vagts is the Luther College liaison to Winneshiek Habitat.

Dale NimrodAccording to Dale Nimrod, WCHFH board member, Luther faculty and staff also made financial contributions toward the house.  He spearheaded a movement to raise funds from faculty and staff, soliciting participation in the fund drive for the project.  Nimrod pointed out that while “building houses is not a formal part of the College mission, being a good neighbor to the Decorah community certainly is.”

Several student groups participated in the construction before the formal “blitz build” on September 8.  Additional students from the Luther College Habitat chapter will be working throughout the fall construction.  WCHFH volunteers will supervise and participate in the building.  Completion is expected in December 2012.

On September 22, members of the Luther Wrestling squad were on-site to shingle the roof. See the Roofing Wrestlers... The roster of the wrestling team at Luther College contains the names of more than 40 students.  Head Coach Dave Mitchell, assisted by Assistant Coachs Jeff O'Gara and Billy Huebner, direct practice so these students are prepared and competitive for the twenty plus meets on their annual schedule.  The wrestling season begins on November 3, 2012.  The Luther College wrestling squad had been an active volunteer partner with Winneshiek Habitat for Humanity house builds for several years.

On November 11, 2012 Gus Johnson, Executive Director of the Winneshiek Habitat for Humanity chapter, reports that the Dahl/Thiele house is progressing well so that dedication ceremony is tentatively set for December 9, 2012, with occupancy expected by the New Year.  Most of the main floor has been sheet-rocked and volunteers are in the process of sheet-rocking on the lower floor.   The curb has been cut and the driveway installed.  Electricity and plumbing have been roughed in and a deck completed on the back of the house.  

Staff from Facilities Services at Luther College have been assisting with this house, built in partnership with the College.    Cabinets are expected to arrive by November 16.  The house will have two full bathrooms and three bedrooms and have numerous energy efficient features.   See November Photos...