It Takes A Village

Posted by Lauren
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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.  

Habitat Montco recently recruited four incredible impact interns to assist with evaluating the impact of our programs. In just one month, these interns have drafted survey questions, created systems, and built capacity for our programs. They’ve stomped through snow to distribute flyers in our communities, piled into our red van to attend community meetings, and provided invaluable support for our Kids Club. Their passion and work ethic have infused the organization with a new level of energy. Marko, Ryan, Matt, and Haley - I cannot thank you enough!

Habitat Montco now has two Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) zones—one in Norristown and one in Pottstown. Each zone has its own NR Committee composed of local leaders, residents, government officials, and partner organizations. These committee members ground our work and provide valuable insight and recommendations. Over the past two months, we have welcomed several new members to these committees and their contributions have been extremely helpful. Thank you, NR Committee members, for taking the time out of your busy schedules and dedicating your focus outside of your own work to collaborate on community-wide goals.

Over the past year, Habitat Montco re-designed its Family Selection Committee and gained eight new members. These members financially screen all homeownership candidates, provide financial coaching for families, and advise the organization on crucial lending and programmatic practices. Their expertise is invaluable to our impact. Thank you, Family Selection Committee members, for committing to our families and our growth.

What’s most inspiring is that all of this serious, crucial work performed by this diverse community of volunteers, partners, and advocates is FUN! There is always a lot of laughter, a lot of smiles, a lot of connection, and a lot of food. This positive energy is game-changing because the challenges that our families and communities face are daunting and often seem unsurmountable.

It takes a village to un-tangle and overcome these issues. Thank you, supporters of Habitat Montco.  We couldn’t do it without your expertise, your work ethic, your senses of humor, or your ability to push away all the challenges and focus on what can be done. Thank you for stepping up and accepting the challenge. Thank you for going on this journey with me, our families, and our communities. Thank you for being a part of the solution.