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Hovde Houses help children in need

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Building shelters for vulnerable children around the world is a longstanding mission for Hovde Properties and the company’s charitable-giving vehicle, the Hovde Foundation.

Brothers Eric and Steve Hovde started the foundation in 1998 to support two central missions: clinical research to find a cure for multiple sclerosis, and to provide charitable relief for those in desperate need.

The foundation builds and finances Hovde Houses, homes that provide shelter, supportive services and education to vulnerable children living on the streets.

Five Hovde Houses are located throughout the world — Mexico City; Huanuco, Peru; Winneba, Ghana; Kigali, Rwanda, and Mombasa, Kenya. A sixth, for children and parents, provides casework managers and job training and is located in Madison.

Eric and Steve Hovde are the third generation of a family-run business that develops, owns and manages commercial and residential real estate throughout Wisconsin. Twenty-five people work at Hovde Properties, and one person, Jeffery Boyd, is employed at the Hovde Foundation.

Eric Hovde was in Romania during the fall of communism. He witnessed the deplorable living conditions that thousands of young children faced as the state-run orphanages closed.

The experience led him to begin the Hovde House concept and partner with World Vision . With the guidance of World Vision, a non-profit organization that helps others sponsor children, he selected Mexico City as the location for the first Hovde House in 2006. More than 200 homeless children have been served there.

The primary purpose of this year’s volunteer mission to Peru was to design and build a playground using whatever materials and tools could be found.

Each year, Hovde employees are sent on a volunteer service trip at no cost to the employee.

Since the Peru Hovde House opened in 2009, the foundation has given more than $1 million to fund it.

This article, written by Jill Carlson, originally appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal. Click here to view the original article.

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