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Habitat For Humanity continues with essential home building in Billings

Posted at 3:06 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 17:06:02-04

Like everyone during Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's stay-at-home directive, Habitat for Humanity has made some changes.

Sales and donations at its Restore business are different and there are fewer in the main office.

But since Habitat is essential, it can still build its 86th home.

"We have a dedicated group of guys and girls that come out weekly," said Jim Woolyhand, Mid-Yellowstone Valley executive director. "And they are continuing to provide supplies needed to build the homes, work on the homes along with our Habitat construction crew that are on staff."

Habitat for Humanity's work is considered essential by the governor's office.

"We're designated an essential business because of infrastructure and the fact that we're a social service," Woolyhand said.

Everything is on schedule for a home on North Ping Circle in the Founders Subdivision.

The home in the Heights should be ready in June.

Normally on a Saturday, volunteers help with construction.

However, social distancing has forced Habitat For Humanity change its schedule to be able to build the home.

"We have put a stop to any public groups, just to slow the spread," Woolyhand said. "We don't want to expose anybody unnecessarily."

Habitat came through a recent challenge after a fire at its store in the fall of 2018.

"You know it's amazing that two major things can happen back to back but we're going to get stronger," he said. "It's going to make us stronger through this. And we always come out much better than at the start of a crisis. We're no stranger to adversity in this organization between the fire and now the COVID-19 outbreak."

Habitat also helps people through their adversity.

"We see families that are just living in terrible circumstances," Woolyhand said. "And so Habitat for Humanity exists to raise folks out of a desperate situation, to empower them, to make their lives better."

Woolyhand remains optimistic.

"The Lord's on our side," he said. "The community's on our side. We pray for everyone for their protection and their safety. And we'll get through this."

The Habitat Restore is selling online and accepting donations by appointment.