Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Hovland builder is turning a dream into reality

Feb 12, 2018 06:04PM ● By Editor

A local builder, Doug Seim, his wife Deb White, and their crew are creating more than just a new home for a disabled Minnesota veteran and his family through a program called Journey Home Minnesota.  They are opening the door for a new life for this deserving family of four. 

Doug is a self-employed builder who began working in the construction industry when he was just 16 years old.  He is originally from southern Minnesota and Deb is from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. His past projects included restoration work for Old World Wisconsin, a 600 acre historical site, before moving to Hovland.   

Journey Home Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works with military veterans or domestic violence victims to find affordable, single-family homes.   Blake Huffman, a retired Wells Fargo banker and Ramsey County commissioner, started Journey Home Minnesota in 2008.  Journey Home is privately funded and receives no government funding.  Journey Home has now helped 45 of their clients become homeowners in Minnesota.  Doug first heard about this program when another contractor referred him.  Blake reached out to Doug in August, 2017 to see if Doug would be interested in building a home for a wounded veteran.

Doug and Deb learned more about the family that they would be helping.  Theo is a wounded vet who suffered a severe foot injury while serving in Iraq.  He also is living with PTSD.  The family chose to move here because the serenity of the forest would lessen the effects of PTSD, therefore improving their quality of life.  Theo and his wife, Jamie, have two middle-school aged boys who are very hard workers, according to Deb and Doug. 

Doug and his crew started the project in October, 2017.  Prep work had to be done at the site.  Plans needed to be approved by Journey Home.   The home has 3 bedrooms, a utility room, and a detached garage.  The home is completely handicapped accessible because of Theo's foot injury and the difficulties in his mobility because of his injury.  Local subcontractors and the Cook County Home Center all pitched in, offering discounted products and services to make this dream a reality.   

Nestled among the trees on a serene, wooded 10 acre lot near Hovland, Theo and his family will be able to start their new life upon completion of the home, thanks to the generosity and hard work of Doug, Deb, their crew, and the Journey Home Minnesota organization. 

To learn more about the Journey Home program or to make a donation, please visit their website:

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here