Virtual view

A view of the kitchen area of the 109 Lydia Lane house that Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity put together.

With the recent protocol involving COVID-19, members of the community are not allowed to gather in large groups, it is hard to experience onsite viewings or events. Today’s technology provides an opportunity for the community to experience live events and different places without actually having to be present. With this in mind, Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity was able to overcome the current situation and postponement of their home dedication with the use of a virtual tour of the home.

“Jesse Thorstad thought of the virtual tour,” Paul Shol, Habitat for Humanity’s community outreach coordinator said about the tour. “Jesse took the initiative to contact Stan (Carignan) and see if he would want a virtual tour of the house.”

Thorstad, owner of Lakes Area 360, went through the house showcasing the build. The tour is 11 slides with a 360-degree view of the rooms, hallways and garage at the home.

Asked how the partnership family was doing, Shol mentioned that Jaynell Bond stopped by the office the other day. Although they did not have the dedication ceremony, she was appreciative of the five women that came and cleaned the house. “They got it looking really sharp in there!  Now she has a nice clean home to move into,” Shol added.

The group still hopes to celebrate the completion of the home at a later date. 

“It’s disappointing though to not get that chance now.  We always have so much enthusiasm, energy, and momentum at the conclusion of a home.  It’s the perfect time to celebrate with the community.  You can’t replicate that feeling weeks and months later,” Shol said.

Habitat for Humanity is also gearing up for its next partnership, but due to the pandemic, there may be several snags in the way before the nonprofit can get another project off the ground. “We were fortunate to finish the 109 Lydia Lane house when we did. A few days ago we were advised from Habitat for Humanity Minnesota to stop all home construction with volunteers.  That would have greatly affected our progress. We rely on our volunteers to help us keep things moving forward,” Shol said.

Currently, Habitat for Humanity is looking for a construction manager for their next home that will begin this summer. The position is paid for 18-24 hours of work a week. The person would oversee the build, but previous homebuilding experience is necessary. If you are interested, you should contact Habitat for Humanity at 218-736-2905 or by email at

Shol and Habitat for Humanity wanted to thank all the businesses and individuals that donated or volunteered their time to making it successful.

The virtual tour of the 109 Lydia Lane house can be found at

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