The community of Rosenort has come together to help build a new home for a family it does not even know. Or at least, did not know until the start of construction.
Michelle Pereira is Chief Operating Officer for Habitat for Humanity. She says this all started when K-Tec, which is based in Rosenort decided that Habitat would be one of their charities of choice. K-Tec ended up manufacturing an earthmoving scraper and then auctioned it off for $205,000. Pereira says that money was then used to buy all of the materials to build this house.
Habitat for Humanity hosted a blitz build last week where dozens of volunteers each day came to work on site. Many of these volunteers were from local businesses but it also included members of the community as well as assistance from churches in Rosenort.
Pereira says support from the community has been unbelievable.
"When you drive out here from the city, it feels like you get a hug when you walk in and everybody is just so excited that we're here, there is a whole buzz," she says.
Not only are they using local volunteers, but Pereira says this also benefits the Rosenort economy with supplies being sourced locally.
"We're spending money here too, which is important," she says. "The other part that's been amazing is the church community has been unbelievable. They were arguing about who was going to donate all the food for our volunteers."
The home is being built for Mustaf Guleid and his wife Magda Rozmyslowicz. Guleid is originally from Somalia, while Rozmyslowicz comes from Poland. The two met in Canada about 20 years ago while living in Edmonton. They moved to Winnipeg 10 years ago. The couple has six children ranging in age from two to 20 years old. Guleid is a long-haul driver for CAT Transport, while Rozmyslowicz is training to be an Early Child Educator. The children are homeschooled in their two-bedroom apartment.
Rozmyslowicz explains they decided to apply for a Habitat home without knowing how likely they would be approved.
"We were shocked in the beginning because we weren't really prepared and it was great news," she says. "One of the best news in our lives."
Moving from a big city to a small town is something that Rozmyslowicz says they are really excited about. Having grown up in a small town, Rozmyslowicz says she looks forward to having her children experience a slower pace of life.
She notes feeling the support from the community and complete strangers last week was amazing. Not only did it exemplify what a small town is made of, but Rozmyslowicz says it also shows what it takes to build a home.
"Every time I go out there I feel like it's more of where I belong or where I'm meant to be," she says. "I feel more at home, every time that I go out to the property."
Rozmyslowicz says as part of their commitment to Habitat for Humanity, her family must provide 500 hours of sweat equity. This could be done on the construction site but also at the Habitat for Humanity store in Winnipeg. She is hoping they can move into their new home in September or October.
Rozmyslowicz says having this new home will mean a lot to her family. It will mean her kids will have more space to grow up, allow them to take on gardening projects outdoors or woodworking projects in their new garage, provide a place for her parents to sleep when they come to visit, and the opportunity for her children to have sleepovers with their friends.
"I just want to thank the Rosenort community for coming out and helping out and being part of it," says Rozmyslowicz. "It was really touching to be able to witness that and see how everybody worked really well together and also the food sponsors and everything."