A New Direction

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By Gary Lasher, President of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County

It is my honor to have recently been elected as President of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County.

 We will continue to construct affordable housing for families that are living in sub-standard situations or have no way of finding a decent place to live. But we have identified a need that is much greater and where we can improve the lives of many more.

 This new direction is to help families in need who can’t afford the necessary repairs to continue living in their existing homes. This could be anything from external repairs such as painting to providing a new roof or a fire hazard electrical system. The typical cost for repairing homes is about 10% of what it costs Habitat to construct a new home. This way we will be improving the lives of many more of our Montgomery families in need.

 Most recently, we worked with the neighbors of a veteran who had no heat and a roof needing extensive repair. When he was released from the hospital after receiving medical treatment, he was able to move into his newly repaired home.

Our plans go one step further and that is what we call Neighborhood  Revitalization where we concentrate our efforts on a particular neighborhood. This not only improves individual living conditions, but also upgrades the entire neighborhood making it a better place to live. Our first project started in September in what we call “Rock the Block”. With support from the Norristown municipality, over a hundred volunteers, block residents and the financial support of a number of donors, we were able to make an impressive improvement in just one day. But it doesn’t stop there. Over the next two years we will continue to improve the neighborhood by upgrading boarded up residences, making them available to new families, street lighting and improving the homes presently occupied.

 I am excited about our future in Montgomery County. There is much work to be done. With the support of our donors, staff and volunteers, we can make a difference. I ask you all to join us as donors and/or volunteers. You can help us improve the lives of many families right here in Montgomery County.