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Volunteers and partners key to updating recovery housing at Avivo

Three years and nearly two fully renovated recovery apartment buildings later, Avivo’s partnership with the Housing First Minnesota Foundation continues to grow – creating dignified living spaces for mothers and families in our recovery housing.

Avivo’s facilities manager Jim Rufi credits volunteer build partners for helping renovate of Avivo’s four family recovery apartment buildings.

“It’s important to honor these build partners’ contributions. Their generous support makes a huge difference in the lives of the families we serve. It gives families a chance to raise their kids in a clean, safe, nice apartment,” says Rufi.

“It’s important to honor these build partners’ contributions. Their generous support makes a huge difference in the lives of the families we serve. It gives families a chance to raise their kids in a clean, safe, nice apartment.”

According to Rufi, renovated units help Avivo get more families into housing, faster. He shares that in older units that have yet to be renovated, there’s a turnaround time of up to two weeks between families. In newly renovated units the turnaround time is closer to two to three days.

Lee Juveland of The Kingdom Builders has helped Avivo renovate recovery housing units twice over three years. He shares that the reason is due to the mission of their company.

The team from build partner The Kingdom Builders, in the early stages of remodeling one of Avivo's family recovery housing units.
The team from build partner The Kingdom Builders, in the early stages of remodeling one of Avivo’s family recovery housing units.

“As a roofing company we strive to stay true to Colossians 3:23 which says, ‘Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.’ We really want to pass along the talents, gifts, and resources that we have been entrusted with. When we were introduced to Avivo, we saw the relationship as one where we could be of service to both our Savior and to those involved with Avivo. We saw an opportunity to see how the One we work for, could bless others through work He would do in us and through us.”

The Housing First Minnesota Foundation is excited to see what the future holds for women benefitting from Avivo’s recovery housing, according to Donnie Brown, foundation director.

“We want to help elevate families in Avivo’s programs who are looking to rebuild their lives… give them a place that’s relaxing and healing, and also nurturing for their babies. Just because someone is going through hardships doesn’t mean where they live should be substandard.”

“Our mission is to partner with organizations to build safe housing for Minnesotans in need,” shares Brown. “We want to help elevate families in Avivo’s programs who are looking to rebuild their lives… give them a place that’s relaxing and healing, and also nurturing for their babies. Just because someone is going through hardships doesn’t mean where they live should be substandard.”

 

Honoring Avivo’s Volunteer Build Partners

 

2021 Build Partners:

The Kingdom Builders

Plekkenpol Builders, Inc.

2018 & 2020 Build Partners:

Cardinal Remodel

Crystal Kitchen + Bath

The Kingdom Builders

Mega Remodel

Soderberg Apartment Specialists

Brown also credits an established relationship with staff at Avivo for the growing partnership.

“The generosity of these build partners and often their suppliers, who might donate or heavily discount materials, has been key to us renovating so many units,” shares Rufi. “With their help we’re giving families in our programs a dignified, stable home while they’re working toward achieving recovery.”

Partnering with Avivo and the Housing First Minnesota Foundation on this project is exciting, according to Pam Clausen, Business Promotion Coordinator at Plekkenpol Builders, Inc. “It’s an opportunity to do what we do best: renovating and remodeling homes, all for a wonderful cause.”

Two contractors from Plekkenpol Builders, Inc. assess the floor of one of Avivo's family recovery housing units in the early stages of renovations.
Two contractors from Plekkenpol Builders, Inc. assess the floor of one of Avivo’s family recovery housing units in the early stages of renovations.

“Housing is such a critical component in helping people feel safe, secure and supported,” adds Clausen. “Having a place to call home is one less burden on mothers with children who are looking to improve their lives.”

“Housing is such a critical component in helping people feel safe, secure and supported … Having a place to call home is one less burden on mothers with children who are looking to improve their lives.”

Paul LeGrand, Client Account Manager at Plekkenpol Builders, Inc., adds that working with their building partners has been a rewarding experience so far.

“One of the single most rewarding things about helping out on this project is seeing our partners really step up to give alongside us. Every single one, big or small, sub or supplier, has said, ‘What can we do to help?’”

April is National Volunteer Month and we’d like to thank all of our partners on the recovery housing project mentioned in this article, as well as the many other amazing individual and group volunteers supporting our programs at Avivo. Learn more about our volunteer opportunities here.