Renovating the House of Hope

A small 800-square-foot home sits on the northwest corner of the Emmaus Lutheran Church property located in Bloomington, Minn. Built 50 years ago as a parsonage, the home, called the House of Hope, may seem small in stature to some, but as a home to a refugee family for the past 13 years, this home has made a big impact.

After so many years of service, the home is in need of some help itself. The BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation and Homes by Tradition have partnered with Emmaus Lutheran Church to restore hope into the three-bedroom residence.

After renovations, the house will serve as transitional housing for women and their children who are facing severe life crises. Some of the women have been incarcerated and separated from their babies, while others are seeking mental health services struggling with chemical dependency issues or unemployment.

“As a mother, I cannot imagine what it feels like to struggle with personal issues, separated from my child, and burdened with the need to secure a place for my child and me to live,” said Donnie Brown, BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation manager.

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One of the bedrooms is lined with a beautiful walnut pine, and the living room has original hardwood floors which are in great shape. Homes By Tradition will transform this home by installing new flooring, sheetrock, millwork, paint, windows, HVAC, plumbing, walkway and appliance package.

“It took a long time to get this point, of course there’s been hurdles along the way,” said Nick Dyrud, senior pastor at Emmaus Lutheran Church. “We’re so incredibly grateful as a church to be able to be a part of project like this.”

One of Homes by Tradition’s employees is also a member of the Emmaus Lutheran Church and has dedicated and volunteered his evenings and weekends to complete this project. The project is expected to be completed in February.