Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Home to Johnson Family, Community Invited

Habitat for Humanity Home Dedication: February 28, 2017 1:30p.m. 222 Bluegrass Ct., Montrose. Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans invites the community to welcome the Johnson family to their new home with light refreshments, a commemoration and a ribbon cutting. More info at

Johnson Family

February 21, 2017 (Montrose, CO) — Fabiola and Craig Johnson will receive the keys to their new home this week and Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans is inviting the community to help celebrate.

Construction of the two-bedroom family home began last March; the dedication is scheduled for February 28 at 1:30p.m., and the community is invited for light refreshments, a commemoration and a ribbon cutting to welcome the Johnsons, and their two young children, to their home.

The house is located at 222 Bluegrass Ct., in Montrose.

The Johnson home is the 52nd built by the Habitat affiliate which serves locals by building and renovating basic, affordable homes.

Like all Habitat for Humanity homeowners, the Johnsons poured more than 500 hours of sweat equity working to build their home alongside volunteers and community partners.

On a video on Habitat’s website, Mr. Johnson says, “I can’t believe this is ours.”

“We just feel so very blessed,” said Mrs. Johnson holding her young son in her arms.

Earlier this month Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans announced two new housing triplexes set for construction in both Montrose and Ridgway. Applications are available at their website,



Local Child Inspires Habitat for Humanity Project with Tattoos and Apricots

February 7, 2017 (Montrose, CO) — Last summer a local seven year old took it upon herself to do something profound for her community, and now Habitat for Humanity of San Juans is honoring her commitment with a new Habitat Kids Care program modeled after her efforts.

Like a lot of kids, Addison Harmsen of Montrose, loves her bedroom. It’s her very own haven where she not only rests, but also spends countless hours playing. Last summer, when her parents—who are active volunteers and board members of Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans—explained to her what Habitat does for the community, Addison had a lot of questions about the bedrooms of the children who move into those homes.

“She wanted to know ‘Do they have toys? Beds? Dressers?’” said Amy Harmsen, Addison’s mom.

I explained sometimes families do, and other times they may notoutfitting a child’s bedroom is expensive.”

Addison made a plan.

For two days last summer Addison, with the help of her parents and little sister Bella, set about selling tattoos and apricots—two things she had an abundance of—outside of Coffee Trader and Cornerstone Home Lending in Montrose. Addison raised just over $200 that went directly towards making a bedroom for a local child truly special when they moved into their new home.

In the spirit of Addison’s efforts Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans announced this week the launch of a new program, Habitat Kids Care, which will dedicate 100 percent of donations specifically for children’s furniture, toys and decorations. Habitat also hopes to attract corporate sponsors to donate items like toys and bedroom furniture. 

In addition to specific donations made through Habitat’s website, Habitat Kids Care will also be the beneficiary of concessions stands throughout Montrose’s Summer Concert Series.

“We want to honor Addison’s example and make sure that when a child moves into their new home they have the bedroom of their dreams,” said Executive Director Colleen Burke.

Currently Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans is working to break ground on two residential triplexes in Montrose and Ridgway. Last year, a record year for the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, the organization completed five homes including families containing nine children.

“This is why we build,” said Burke. “Every child deserves a bedroom to dream in.”





2016 Impact, at a glance

People in our community partner with us to improve the place they call home and make an impact in their own neighborhoods.

After 26 years of building lives and decent places to call home in the San Juan region, we are genuinely touched by our community who believe deeply in our vision and help us make a serious impact. 

In 2016 we built a record-breaking five homes (52 total since 1991), which put roofs over the heads of nine children; provided financial counseling to 22 families and completed 11 home repair projects.

Since 2011 we’ve tripled our ReStore sales (which fund all admin operations) and, in the past year, made a nearly 5M dollar economic impact locally.

So, what does it take to build that kind of impact?

It takes future homebuyers—who put in between 250 and 500 hours of sweat equity working on their homes—and those of our partners, donors and dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to help other families build a better life.

Check out some of the impact you’ve helped us achieve in the last year below; and thank you again foryour support, and for all that you do!

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Housing triplex slated for Ridgway, locals needed for planning committee 

When Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans breaks ground on this next housing project, we’ll do something never done before: build affordable housing in Ouray County.

And we won’t just be building one home, we’ll build a triplex, with three townhomes, on North Laura Street, in Ridgway.

Read the full press release here.


Each townhome slated for construction within the Ridgway River Park Triplex, will be 1500 sq. ft., three stories, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage.

A Citizen Engagement Committee, helmed by Ouray County residents Karen Dubroff and Dan Kigar, have organized and are working on a campaign to raise money and awareness for the triplex. Their first order of business is to help amplify Habitat’s call for applicants for these affordable mortgages and homes in downtown Ridgway.

“We’re not just looking for applicants,” said Dubroff, “we’re looking for families to partner with us to become homeowners.”


Through Habitat’s Homeownership program, the nonprofit is able to sell homes to qualified families at a 0-3% interest rate, with only a $500 down payment, and a set monthly mortgage payment that does not exceed 30% of the family’s gross monthly income.

According to Burke, from the time a family applies to the day they move into their home, the process takes anywhere from nine months to one year and includes hundreds of volunteer hours.

“We know that homeownership has a profound impact on families and communities. In fact, children of homeowners are 25 percent more likely to graduate high school and 116 percent more likely to graduate from college,” she said.

Looking ahead to the construction phase, which could begin later this year, Kigar said, “It’ll be a great day when we get to celebrate with three local families who we can count on to grow with our community for years.”

Applications for the Ridgway River Park Triplex are available here and at the ReStore in Montrose.

Santa Expected at Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans ReStore throughout December

December 1, 2016 (MONTROSE, CO) – The Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will host Santa Claus at their Restore location three times this month.

Meet Santa and shop the season’s best deals, while also supporting your local Habitat for Humanity chapter from 10a.m. – 3p.m. on December 3, 10 and 17th.


Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Home to Single Dad


Get to know the Cascia family, click the image for a video

November 15, 2016 (MONTROSE, CO) – Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans announced this week the completion and celebration of their 51st house within their service area of Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties.

The non-profit organization is inviting the community to the dedication celebration at the home located on 230 Bluegrass Court in Montrose on noon on Tuesday, November 22.

This latest build was made possible thanks to donations to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, the DreamBuilders Club (a monthly giving subscription program offered by the organization), ReStore sales and numerous volunteers that took part in the project.

Now the house is complete, homeowner Mike Cascia, who contributed 500 sweat equity hours to building his home, will be taking up residence and paying the mortgage. Cascia, a single dad, is already looking forward to the weekends and summers when his son, Matthew, will visit from Durango, where he is currently studying Business Management at Fort Lewis College.

Since 1991, Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans has offered affordable non-profit mortgage loans and home repair assistance. They are currently looking for applicants for housing projects in Ridgway and Montrose.

To learn more about the Cascia Home dedication on Tuesday, or about how to donate, volunteer or apply for a housing project, visit

ReStore Customer Appreciation Day July 9, 2016

LogoMontrose, CO. (July 5, 2016) —The Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans ReStore, 1601 N. Townsend Ave. in Montrose, will host a Customer Appreciation Day from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. July 9.

Customer Appreciation Day at the ReStore means greatly reduced prices, (including up to 75% off furniture items), Bag Sales (as much clothing, hardware, knick-knacks, books, crafts or glassware you can fit into a bag for $3); free lunch; games; and two pallet painting workshops with the Junk’n Sisters.

The event is an opportunity to move inventory, raise money and give back to the customers who support the ReStore’s mission throughout the year, according to Colleen Burke, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans.

“It’s our favorite day of the year here,” said Brandon Costello, ReStore manager. “Some of our customers are already coming in to scope out what they’ll be back for on Saturday,” he said.

Last year Customer Appreciation day raised $7,500 for the local Habitat chapter. This year, according to Costello, the goal is $10,000.

Junk’n Sisters workshops are $35 and include materials. Junk’n Sisters are donating 20% of their proceeds to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

ReStores are independently owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. Proceeds are used to help build strength, stability, self-reliance and shelter in local communities and around the world.

Space for workshops is limited, RSVP here, and to volunteer or to learn more about Customer Appreciation Day call 970-252-9304 or email Danielle Goldman at

Habitat Executive Director Recipient of Leadership Award

Colleen (2 of 6)

Habitat Executive Director, Colleen Burke

Montrose, CO. (July 7, 2016) —Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans today announced that executive director Colleen Burke has been named the recipient of the 2016 Leadership Award for her contributions to the mission of Habitat for Humanity.

Each year Habitat for Humanity Colorado issues the award to an executive director who best represents that year’s theme. This year’s request was for leaders who embodied a quote by football legend and Habitat for Humanity advocate Jimmy Johnson:

“Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as what he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

Burke was presented the award in April along with a $500 donation to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, which she has overseen since 2012.

Burke’s tenure includes many milestones including the expansion of the service area to include not only Montrose county but also Ouray and San Miguel counties; the San Juan Independent Film Festival, which raises funds for housing projects; a critical home repair program; the Dream Builders campaign, which incentivizes donors to commit on a monthly schedule; and earlier this year, the completion of the organization’s 50th home construction project.

“Colleen’s hands-on leadership and creative fundraising is an inspiration to us all here,” said Alison Hunter, Office Manager and Executive Assistant at Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans. “It’s nothing short of astounding how much we’ve been able to accomplish as a team,” she added.

Burke grew up in the region graduating from Montrose High School in 1989. She is a graduate of Fort Lewis with a degree in Marketing and Economics. Her entire career has been dedicated to the non-profit sector including efforts promoting Sonoma Valley Wineries and later, working in economic development, promoting the small business and tourism economy Utah.

Burke has taken the lessons from those experiences and the mentors along the way to focus now on making affordable housing in the San Juan Region an economic development discussion. “Building affordable homes in rural Colorado is a much larger economic engine than people may think. Habitat spends nearly 90% of our construction dollars with local companies, we employ 15 locals and the purchase of an affordable Habitat home gives hard working families the stability they need to be great citizens of their communities,” said Burke.

“We’re so fortunate to Colleen’s tremendous character, energy, and capabilities,” said Wil Harmsen, who serves as president of the local Habitat chapter’s board of directors.

“Staff, homeowners, volunteers, donors, and supporters of Habitat have thrived under her leadership and she certainly advances our mission to provide local families a decent and affordable homes,” he added.


Moonshiner’s Ball 2016


June 24, 2016 (MONTROSE, CO) – Throughout prohibition era, you couldn’t swing a dead cat in the San Juans without hitting a moonshiner. And he probably would have hit you back. Those men who brewed the white lightening were of a certain burly ilk. It’s easy to imagine too that they knew how to let loose.

Once again this year the Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will look to revive the old raucous and rowdy spirit of the moonshiners of yore for their fourth annual Moonshiner’s Ball at the Habitat Barn on August 13 from 7p.m. – 11p.m. The fundraiser is sponsored by Bank of Colorado and will feature gourmet cuisine, gambling, a silent auction, music by Sarah Wiley and Hannah Gill & The Hours, a live auction variety show, a full bar and of course moonshine!

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, last year we raised enough money to complete our 50th Habitat home for a local family,” said Colleen Burke, Habitat’s executive director.

“It’s also one of the best parties of the summer anywhere,” she added.

Guests can come in era dress, or however they please. “The moonshiners would have preferred it that way,” said Burke.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans is a locally owned and operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. They serve Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties. Over the past 25 years the organization has empowered 50 local families to help build and move into their own homes.

Tickets for the Moonshiner’s Ball are expected to sell out fast and are available at an early-bird price June 24 here. Funds raised will go directly towards ongoing housing projects to connect local families with decent, sustainable and affordable housing.

Uncommon Athletes


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