Every Brick

Posted by Liz
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By Liz (Bowers) Hefner, Director of Development and Communications

I recently took a trip to Acadia National Park.  One of my favorite things about this park were the bridges across the carriage roads.  Each bridge was different, with each stone hand-carved and carefully placed. The bricks were nestled together with just enough mortar to keep them in place and ensure the bridges’ strength.  As I stood for a few minutes looking at these bricks, I realized that they show a great picture of teamwork and collaboration, the same kind of collaboration that happens at Habitat MontCo every day.  The bricks that make up these bridges have stood strong for nearly 100 years, and look like they will last for at least 100 more. The strength of a bridge comes from each brick leaning on another with the support of the mortar to keep things in place. Every brick is a building block.

Families are facing an affordable housing crisis across this country.  Habitat MontCo is a bridge for families on their journey to homeownership. We share with them the tools and resources they are looking for, and they share with us their hopes, dreams and goals. Drew and Val Ricciardi have shared with us their hopes and dreams for their son Josh.  Malak Labeeb and Mariam Girgis shared their goal of long-term stability.  Each family’s dreams, goals, and hard work are the building blocks for a foundation of stability. Every family deserves a safe, decent, affordable home.

Our construction team builds, repairs, and rehabs homes year in and year out so that families can know the stability of homeownership.  Since 1989, the construction team has built and rehabbed 61 homes.  They are currently rehabbing two homes, one in Pottstown and one in Norristown, as well as beginning our most recent construction project in Bridgeport where we are building four new townhomes from the ground up.  Since 2013, the construction team has also repaired 50 homes through our Critical Home Repair program, and they are in the process of repairing 13 more.  The construction team is a crucial building block of what we do at Habitat Montco.

Our family services team is another building block.  They are working holistically with families and communities to help end the cycle of poverty. This team is serving residents from across Montgomery County, listening and responding the needs of each community every day.  Working in the communities and hearing the concerns of the residents led to the creation of our three newer programs: Critical Home Repair, Neighborhood Revitalization, and the Almost Home Financial Literacy Course.  These programs, alongside our Homeownership Program, are essential building blocks for strengthening families.

Our programs are the bricks of the bridge to strength, stability, and self-reliance for our families.  But these bricks could not create a bridge without mortar.  Our volunteers and supporters are the mortar that keeps each brick in place, and makes every building block strong.  Our volunteers give their time and our supporters give generously of their resources, together working to create a world where everyone has a safe, decent, affordable place to live.  Without our volunteers and supporters, we would not be able to serve the families who are working so hard to improve their lives.

Like with the beautiful bridges in Acadia National Park, every brick is a building block.