Hope Village isn't letting a little cold and snow get in the way of flood recovery in the Minot area.
The headquarters for rebuilding efforts will be transitioning into winter mode but expects out-of-state volunteers to continue to come to assist with the construction.
Steve Carbno, village coordinator, said Hope Village facilities are not winterized so volunteers will no longer be housed at the village located next to Our Savior Lutheran Church in south Minot as of the end of October.
The site still will operate as a headquarters for operations, and Carbno and the facilities manager will continue to live on the grounds. Carbno said they are looking at doing some winterization to make that possible.
There have been rumors of the village closing, which is not true, Carbno said.
"That's almost like giving in and we are not giving in. We are diligently working to keep the pace going," he said. "If the need is still there, the dollars to support the place, the volunteers to support the place, we will be here until the end ... until they don't need us anymore."
From April through Sept. 21, Hope Village has seen 185 volunteer groups and 1,648 volunteers provide 59,461 hours of service. At the volunteer rate of $17.50 an hour, it is more than $1 million in flood relief.
Hope Village's goal is to rebuild more than 500 flood-damaged homes for vulnerable families and individuals. Carbno said that there are 196 homes in the system that have yet to get started.
"That again lends credibility to why we need to continue," he said.
All Saints Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, First Lutheran and St. Mark's Lutheran have partnered with Hope Village to house volunteers over winter. The Minot Family YMCA will provide use of its showers, and food services will be available at the locations where volunteers are staying.
Carbno said the number of volunteers is expected to decline over winter, easing the logistics of housing them at alternate sites.
Current volunteers are working to get flood-damaged houses enclosed so that work can continue on the interiors after October.
"We are not going to sit back and wait for warm weather. We understand the seriousness of putting people back in their homes," Carbno said.
About 110 to 115 volunteers are expected in October. The last volunteers scheduled to stay at Hope Village are with an Illinois group that is coming Oct. 14 to 20. The village will bring in portable toilets and partner with the YMCA for showers if cold weather is an issue. The dining tent on site will be down by then and operations moved to the church.
Out-of-state groups that have already signed up later in the year are coming from Illinois in November and from Iowa between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Hope Village also is continuing its Hope Builders program, which provides opportunities for area residents to assist with rebuilding for a day, a weekend or longer.
The village occasionally has need for supplies or other items. The best way for people to help is with gift cards to Walmart or Menards or financial donations, Carbno said. Donations can be sent to Hope Village, c/o Our Savior Lutheran Church, 3705-11th St. SW, Minot, ND 58701.