In early spring, Winneshiek Habitat begins the process again of selecting a new site and a partner family for 2016. To date, Winneshiek Habitat has built 28 homes in all communities in the county except Frankville and Fort Atkinson. The affiliate is especially interested in acquiring lots in these communities but would welcome obtaining lots anywhere in Winneshiek County.

Anyone interested in donating or selling a reasonably priced lot in these towns or elsewhere in the county should contact Gus Johnson, Executive Director at 563-382-1802 or More...



“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.


Volunteers Needed

Although the families pay for the mortgage, there are rising costs associated with building a home and maintaining the Habitat program. Therefore, WCHFH is beginning its annual fundraising drive called Phonathon 2015. Many residents of Winneshiek County have received a mailing and the opportunity to donate before the Phonathon on March 1st and 8th. On those evenings volunteers will call prospective donors and update them about the work of WCHFH.  People wishing to donate, can mail their contributions to PO Box 457, Decorah, 52101

Spillville Home Being Built

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...



Welcome Home...

WCHfH Video Released

Take a look at the process and the people who make dreams come true. The new video made by Cade Loven is now available on YouTube: From Dreams to Beams

Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH) is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. The goal for Habitat for Humanity is to work in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The houses are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.
Volunteers provide much of the labor and partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor "sweat equity" into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses, both in the US and Guatemala, the international partner nation for the Winneshiek Habitat affiliate.


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