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Volunteer and committed Women’s Crew member, Bobbie Whitlock, shares her experience of how she saw Habitat’s work on a single home empower an entire community. Thanks for sharing, Bobbie!
“When the recession hit, a period when the housing market was so depressed, Habitat EBSV was able to acquire several houses which were in foreclosure and renovate them for Habitat partner families who could not afford the cost of a new home. This extension of Habitat’s services helped many families rebuild their lives, but the surprising uplift to the entire neighborhoods where we built was a bonus we had not quite expected.
There was one house in particular, at Shore Acres in Bay Point, that I remember feeling nervous about. The first time we drove onto the street, we all looked around and were not sure we felt safe working there or that our cars would be safe parked on the block unattended. The house across the street looked like the city dump with garbage everywhere. There were derelict cars all up and down the street. Weeds grew in all the yards, houses needed painting, junk needed to be gotten rid of. We didn’t see kids playing. The houses all looked like they needed our help!
It was only a few weeks later, as our project began to take shape, that we started noticing the changes. The junk was gone from the house across the street, and it looked so much better! The old cars started to disappear, weeds were cut down and flowers planted, and grass was being watered. The people next door went even further. They had their whole house re-stuccoed and a new roof put on to match the new pitched roof we were adding to our house. We even heard kids in the neighborhood.
By the time we left a couple of months later, the whole neighborhood had been transformed. It was a really good feeling to know that not only had we helped one family, but an entire neighborhood had benefited from our efforts. Now, the entire neighborhood had a better place to live.”
Bobbie Whitlock, Women’s Crew Volunteer