After getting its start in River Falls on March 29, 1996, St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity will kick off it’s 25th year with a ceremonial groundbreaking in New Richmond March 29th.

“When we look ahead to our plans this year, we also look back 25 years ago to a group of people who knew that the key to successful communities was to look for ways to support each other,” said St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Kristie Smith. “Without the focus and dedication of volunteers, businesses, and community organizations we would not be getting ready to welcome our 71st family to the work we do.”

Barb and Paul Ramberg are two of the nonprofit’s original founders. “Half a dozen of us got the behind-the-scenes work started and it took about two years until our first home was built,” Paul noted.  “Andersen Windows and Doors were with us from the beginning, donating what we needed as the volunteers put in the labor, starting with our first home in Ellsworth,” said Barb.  The Rambergs said lots were donated in Glenwood City, Baldwin and Ellsworth and were the focus of the organization’s builds early on.

The March 29th Groundbreaking Ceremony kicks off construction season for the nonprofit, who will welcome the Flores family to the build. A number of partners have joined with SCVHFH to support and help keep construction costs affordable, including Thrivent, Andersen Windows & Doors, Steiner Heating and Electric, the City of New Richmond and WI U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. 

Purchase of the New Richmond site was made possible by the partnership with the City of New Richmond.  “We are committed to supporting affordable housing in our neighborhoods,” said New Richmond Community Development Director Beth Thompson.  “Partnerships like this one help us achieve our goals to build strength and long-term success for the people who call New Richmond home.”

Thrivent will partner for a special Thrivent Builds Faith Venture, connecting faith partners and community organizations to the project.  “Together, Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent share the mission of helping people in need of safe, decent place to call home,” said Thrivent Financial Planner Jesse Kvitek.  “We are looking forward to building together in New Richmond again, after our last joint project here in 2010.”

Special funding through WI USDA Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Direct Loan program will help the Flores’ keep their mortgage affordable.  “USDA’s no down-payment, low-interest program supports very-low and low-income families with assistance in eligible rural areas,” said WI Rural Development Acting State Director Michelle Wallace. “Our partnership with SCVHFH allows both Agency’s program dollars to stretch further to help more families achieve their dream of homeownership.”

A volunteer kick-off is set for June 2 at Paperjack Park in New Richmond.   Volunteers and sponsors are still needed for the build.  More information can be found online at or by emailing  The March 29th groundbreaking ceremony can be viewed live on Facebook at

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity helps families with safe, affordable housing.  In 1996, community members in River Falls, WI and surrounding communities recognized the critical need to bring people together to build housing, communities and hope and founded the local, nonprofit Habitat affiliate. In its tenure, SCV Habitat for Humanity has partnered with more than 71 families in Pierce and St, Croix Counties to help achieve the goal of home ownership.  Visit 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.