Everyone

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 425

By Marianne Lynch, Executive Director

I was just reading about an Urban Institute study that found that in every single state in the US, there is not enough affordable housing to meet the needs of extremely low, low, and moderate income households.*  In Montgomery County alone, there are 22 units available for every 100 low-income families seeking housing.  This means that there are 78 others who do not have a safe, decent, affordable place to call home.

That is a fact that has weighed heavily on my mind in recent days…As I think about Habitat’s long-term strategies to serve more families, I sometimes despair over the number of homes needed for an ever-growing gap of families trying to find and afford a place to live. For me, this conversation becomes personal, as I think about how their kids struggle in school because they have to move from place to place, and how the places themselves might not be habitable and decent since demand far exceeds supply.  I think about how families who are already struggling to get by have an added burden of unaffordable housing costs, often leading to stress and discord within the family unit. I also start thinking about the number of homes Habitat will provide to future homeowners this year (3) and how many we will repair to keep families in their homes (21) and I feel a little overwhelmed.

How can one small, local Habitat for Humanity make a difference in the face of such daunting numbers? How can we provide enough homes to help these low-to-moderate income families out of this vicious cycle?

More

Small Things With Great Love

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 364

By Maria Nappo, AmeriCorps Construction Site Leader

There are a lot of small things that go into building a home, and during my year of service as an AmeriCorps, I have truly seen the words of Mother Teresa come to life: "Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love."

This past September, I began my  year for AmeriCorps with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County with the construction team. When I arrived, the rehab work at 130 Wayne Avenue in Norristown was still in the beginning stages. It’s hard to believe that Annette is moving on May 21.

 

More

Our Work Wouldn't Be Possible Without Volunteers!

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 433

By Cara Przybylowicz, Volunteer and Community Relations Manager

April 11-17 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week and we could not be more grateful for our volunteers!  The role that volunteers play in our organization is huge and we enjoy working with them every day.  Our wonderful volunteers help in a variety of capacities including Construction, ReStore, Family Services, and in our offices!  Do any of these interest you?  Let us know, and get involved, as we are always looking for more volunteers!

We have had volunteers continue to come back year after year and we truly appreciate all of the hard work and effort that they have put in to help Habitat Montco continue to grow and push the organization forward.  Our volunteers continue to amaze our staff with their loyalty, flexibility, generosity, and by the amount of work they can do in such a short amount of time!

More

URGENT: Childcare Needed

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 260

By Michelle Spada, Director of Family Services

Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County aims to break down barriers to families’ housing stability and financial stability. One of the biggest challenges that our families face is quality, affordable childcare!

Currently, Habitat Montco is running an 8-week financial literacy program called Almost Home, focused on helping families take control of their finances. Classes are Tuesday and Thursday nights now through May 19th from 6pm to 8:30pm at the OIC in Norristown (1101 Arch St.).

Habitat is currently working with 13 families and 25 children. While parents are in class learning about budgeting, credit, employment opportunities, legacy planning, legal issues, and housing options, the children need attentive, creative individuals to provide quality childcare. If you have a passion for working with kids and are looking for a way to give back, this is a great opportunity!

More

Habitat Montco is More Than a Homebuilder - We Repair Homes Too!

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 312

By Elizabeth Bowers, Director of Development and Communications

In an effort to serve more families in Montgomery County, Habitat MontCo started the Critical Home Repair Program in 2013. Habitat MontCo’s Critical Home Repair Program provides low-cost home repairs to residents of Montgomery County who make between 20% and 80% of median household income.

Repairs address critical needs impacting safety, security, and/or accessibility. Repairs typically consist of roof repairs, HVAC system repair/replacement, plumbing systems repairs, accessibility modifications, and electrical system repairs. The average cost of a critical home repair is $7,500 with smaller repairs (accessibility modifications) averaging $5,000 and larger repairs (multi-system repairs) costing up to $15,000. These repairs are completed on a sliding scale so that the homeowners contribute a maximum of 30% of the repair costs, while HFHMC and collaborating organizations pay the rest. Homeowners pay a portion of the cost of their repair based on a sliding scale and also perform volunteer “sweat equity” in partnership with Habitat MontCo.

More

New Beginnings!

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 386

By Marianne Lynch, Executive Director

It’s spring – finally! Even though it’s been a warm winter, it feels like spring has taken its time to arrive. At Habitat Montco, we have anxiously been anticipating spring’s arrival for many reasons. For us, spring is a time of new beginnings, lots of activity, and great ways to get involved.

Tuesday, March 29 marks the beginning of our second eight-week session of Almost Home. Our newest program, a financial literacy and life skills class based on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, Almost Home will help 15 families on their path to financial stability and perhaps one day, to homeownership. With 15 families participating, we’ve outgrown our meeting space here at 533 Foundry Road and will be hosting the spring session at the OIC in Norristown. If you are interested in learning more about the curriculum, becoming a financial coach, or helping to support the families with meals or babysitting as they commit to these eight weeks of classes, please contact Michelle, our Director of Family Services, at mspada@habitatmontco.org.

April is an active month for construction and Neighborhood Revitalization here at Habitat. We are kicking off Neighborhood Revitalization in Pottstown focused on the 300 and 400 blocks of Walnut, Beech and Chestnut Streets with a Rock the Block community repair and clean-up day on Friday, April 15. The event is modeled after our Rock the Block event held each September in Norristown, and Habitat has partnered with 11 organizations as part of the Pottstown CARES day. We will be cleaning, painting, repairing and feeding the community that Friday. If you would like to volunteer, we still have a few slots open and would love to have you!  Cara, our Volunteer and Community Relations Manager, would be happy to help you sign up to volunteer for Almost Home or at Rock the Block - contact her at cara@habitatmontco.org.

More

The Impact of a Week with Habitat

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 340

By Cara Przybylowicz, Volunteer and Community Relations Manager

Last week, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, PA hosted our annual Collegiate Challenge Trip.  Collegiate Challenge is a week-long trip during spring break in which college students dedicate their entire week to serving with Habitat Affiliates all across the country.  For the past 10 years, Habitat Montco has been hosting Assumption College from Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Thankful for this long-standing tradition, we did a little digging to find out what keeps Assumption coming back year after year.  Assumption College first began coming to our affiliate because of the close connection they had with the Assumption sisters in our area.  “We continue to come back because it seems to be a really nice fit for us,” said Vincent Sullivan-Jacques, Assumption College’s Campus Ministry leader.  “The affiliate is very accommodating and easy to work with year in and year out, and there are also a lot of great opportunities in the area, especially being so close to Philadelphia.”  This year, the students worked in our ReStore for one day, and on Habitat construction sites for three days, leaving them one day to explore Philadelphia’s history.

More

It Takes A Village

Posted by Lauren
Hits: 388

By Michelle Spada, Director of Family Services

The Family Services Department at Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County runs four main programs: Homeownership, Critical Home Repair, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Almost Home Financial Literacy. In 2015, these programs impacted over 500 families. This week, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you because the success of these programs hinges on a large community of passionate volunteers and advocates. We could not possibly do this work alone.

My first thank-you is for Ma-Tenneh Sampson, the AmeriCorps member who serves as our Family Services Coordinator. Ma-Tenneh has a depth of character and resilience that she formed by overcoming severe obstacles. She has brought passion to her position and impacted the lives of each and every family that we serve. It is an honor to work alongside her every day. Happy AmeriCorps Week, Ma-Tenneh! Our team, our families, and our communities greatly appreciate your commitment.  

More