Slated to be demolished, Dietz bought house at 409 Houston for $2,000 and has invested more than $40,000 in renovations; he wants proceeds from sale to go into a second house

    Mark Dietz’s “Humanity Earth” dream is still alive, and he’s hoping that sometime in the fall it starts to become reality in the form of a single dilapidated house in the Woods Addition that he continues to rehabilitate in the hope of selling, and then using the profits from the sale to refurbish a second house. If Dietz’s plans come to fruition, that formula will be repeated again and again with similar homes throughout Crookston.

    He also needs the community’s support to grow Humanity Earth.

    The Times checked in with Dietz about a year ago. For $2,000, the employee of the Polk County Facilities Department had purchased the brick craftsman-style home at 409 Houston Avenue (and paid off all of its unpaid assessments) that was slated to be demolished. He’s invested around $42,000 in the extensive rehab project, and plans to put the home up for sale for $83,000 in the fall. If it sells at that price, Dietz plans to use the $41,000 “profit” as seed money to grow Humanity Earth.

    The growth he’s envisioning is going to need community buy-in, however. Dietz says that for every $1 dollar invested by an individual, group, agency, organization, club, or business by May 15, Humanity Earth-Crookston will return that $1 to the contributor on or before Dec. 1 to help with Christmas-related expenses, and will donate 25 cents to the United Way of Crookston in the name of the donator of the original $1.

    “What an exceptional way to live the true spirit of Christmas, knowing that you made a huge difference in someone else’s Christmas, in someone else’s life,” Dietz said in a note to the Times.

    Investments in Humanity Earth-Crookston of any size are more than welcome, he said. Donations will help a family achieve ownership of a rehabilitated home, meaning one more child and one more family can enjoy Christmas dinner around the table. The home will also be energy-efficient, and it will benefit the historic Crookston neighborhood in which it sits.

    Dietz asks that anyone interested in contributing or having questions contact him at Mail correspondence can be sent to PO Box 671 in Crookston.

    Dietz said an open house at the home at 409 Houston Avenue will be held in conjunction with the project’s completion in the fall.