Staff & clients share how One Roof makes home a better place

One Roof Community Housing staff and clients sharing their thoughts on the impact of One Roof’s mission, programs and services.

Gateway Tower Apartment Renovation

The renovation of the 40+ year old Gateway Tower Apartments began in December 2016 and was completed this past October 2017.

Putting Down Real Roots

Listen to the stories of how our Community Land Trust homeowners are able to invest in themselves and our community.

A House, A Home and Two Milestones

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I, a single mother, would be so fortunate to purchase my very own home …”  Tokiwa Heger

“I have been living with my parents for six and a half years with my two girls,” states Amy Kokotovich. “It feels great to have my own house. The girls love having their own rooms!”

Jonathan & Molly's Story

The Community Land Trust program is just one resource provided by One Roof Community Housing. One Roof helps hardworking families achieve the dream of homeownership, Jonathan and Molly’s story is just one example.

Community Land Trusts - A Wise Investment

Community Land Trust Homeowner

Alyssa became a Community Land Trust homeowner at the end of December 2014. Looking for an opportunity to start over, Alyssa discovered One Roof’s Home Buyer workshop and counseling program, and realized that she had the resources to begin a new life.

“I never thought owning a home was possible on my income as a single mother. Since purchasing our home it has become our safe haven. It’s a comfort to know that I could provide a home for my son while paying less than I had been paying for rent.”

“Now that my son has celebrated his second birthday in our home, I’m so thankful this is the place where he turned one, took his first steps, said his first words and learned to use utensils. I can see in my son’s innocent eyes and hear in his sweet giggle how comfortable and happy he is here.”

“I tell anyone I know who is considering buying a house about One Roof’s Community Land Trust program because I know how much it means to me. It gave me the chance to start over and has been one of the best choices I ever made.”

Home Buyer Education

trettelStephanie reached out to One Roof in 2015 during a challenging year of personal transitions.

“I was not in a good or happy place in my life. I almost didn’t even keep my very first appointment because I just didn’t think I was in any shape to own a home, but I’m glad I kept it.”

In the Home Buyer Counseling sessions that followed she spent time organizing and prioritizing her finances and debt. Stephanie focused on short term goals to repair her credit and build her savings, with the dream of becoming a homeowner motivating her along the way.

“I was encouraged every step of the way, and learned a lot about budgeting, and about “snowballing” my debt. It was all extremely helpful when it came time for me to meet with my lender.” “Owning my own home feels wonderful, and still kind of unreal. I now have an opportunity to rebuild my life and have a stable environment for myself and my daughter to live in – one where we have the freedom to have our two cats as well.”

“Buying a home is a huge deal, but I was very blessed that the process was so smooth for me. From day one (I consider day one to be the first day I walked into One Roof) I didn’t think I would be where I am – in my own house. I did everything I was supposed to but never fully felt it would actually happen. But it did happen!”

Multi-Family Housing Development

Maude Dornfeld, Executive Director, Life House Photo by Steve Isola

“In November of 2015 Life House approached One Roof with a need and an idea for a potential partnership: “Would One Roof consider helping Life House acquire a large house for teens who’ve been abused or sexually exploited?” The answer was an enthusiastic “yes” and within a week a beautiful 5-bedroom home was found, and within a few months the house was purchased and renovations were underway.

Thanks to the professional team and seamless process, we were able to open our new program, Sol House, within just eight months.

Our heartfelt thanks to One Roof for helping exploited youth heal and reconnect to their dreams.”

~Maude Dornfeld, Executive Director, Life House

Steve O'Neil Apartments

ArickaAfter years of homelessness, drug use, and mental health issues, Aricka found herself pregnant and living in an apartment with 15 other people. Concerned for her unborn child she sought temporary housing from SafeHaven.

With help from Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services, Aricka was offered permanent supportive housing in the Steve O’Neil Apartments when it opened in the spring of 2015. Her daughter was born just a month after they moved in.

“I am safe…we are safe. This is the longest I have stayed anywhere in over 10 years. I would not have been able to keep my little girl. She would have been placed for adoption.”

A year after moving in to the Steve O’Neil Apartments, Aricka now has a functioning family (herself, the baby, and the baby’s father).

“I am able to parent…and even be a better parent. I have been sober, and my baby has stability. Thank God the apartment was furnished. I had nothing. We would have been sleeping on the floor. When I moved in there was a crib for my baby. You can’t imagine what that was like.”


Bill & Kitty
Bill & Kitty

Bill and Kitty needed a new roof very badly. Water leaked into the house and buckets had to be hauled out to collect the water coming through the ceiling every time it rained. The home they worked so hard to keep (despite layoffs and lost jobs during the financial crisis) was in danger of falling apart around them.

“Banks had denied us because of our credit issues. We made too much money (just barely) to qualify for any loan programs or deferred loans from local agencies. We felt we were completely out of options. It was very stressful and we lost lots of sleep. One Roof was our last hope.”

“Gloria was our contact at One Roof and she was professional, knowledgeable, and competent on working through this process. Also, and perhaps just as important, she was kind and helpful from start to finish. When the ability to borrow money from One Roof became an option, it was an enormous weight off our shoulders.”

Through an affordable 10-year One Roof fix-up loan, Bill and Kitty now have a beautiful blue metal roof that will keep their home sound for years to come.

Community Supporters

“This organization has exceeded our vision in a lot of ways.  I am delighted to see the expansion to Proctor and Hermantown.  People of all income levels should have the opportunity to live where they desire.”  – Former St. Louis County Commissioner, Steve O’Neil