Living Columns & Blogs

Community support makes Habitat homes a reality

They both work full time — Jesse for a custom countertop fabricator and Victoria as an assistant manager at a sandwich shop. They earn modest incomes, but not enough to qualify for a traditional mortgage. With the recent addition of Liley, their baby girl, Jesse and Victoria were determined to find something permanent, something more and something of their own. That “something” came in the way of a Habitat flier hanging on a local community bulletin board.

“I saw the flier and called the next day. It seemed too perfect — the house is near family and plenty big for our growing family,” Victoria said. “And I want color — the white walls of our rented townhouse are just plain. I want to be able to pick cheery colors for Lil’s room, and for the living room, the heart of the home.”

To have a house of their own means having the freedom to create a vibrant and personal space for making family memories. Family meals around the kitchen table, movie nights snuggled under blankets on the couch, sleepovers with friends in the decorated bedrooms and endless outdoor games in the fenced backyard will all soon be possible in a recently renovated Milesburg property.

Jesse, the quieter half of the young couple, beams with pride having had a literal hand in helping to make their home. Replacing siding, clearing ductwork, insulating plumbing, installing flooring and painting a room or two, Jesse did it all — alongside community volunteers. Short on words, he sticks with the important ones. “Thanks for helping to make this happen,” Jesse expressed at the family’s recent home dedication ceremony.

Habitat believes that when we offer a hand up to a family in need of better shelter, that help places them on a path toward better health, more stability and more possibilities.

Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive

Every home is a building block: Having a decent place to live and access to an affordable mortgage or loan means Habitat homeowners can save more, invest in education, pursue opportunity and have more financial stability.

Every family needs a foundation to build a better future: Beginning the journey toward affordable homeownership requires courage — and vision for something better. Each Habitat homeowner works hard to complete their financial counseling and perform their sweat equity, and it’s their determination and strength that carries them through to their goal: a home of their own, one they helped build. When a family partners with Habitat, they start down a path — one with far fewer barriers to a better, healthier, more financially stable life.

Every hand makes a difference: With community support, Habitat will always advocate for and partner with those among us who must be remembered, who must be allowed opportunity, who must be permitted to hope.

In early 2018, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County will break ground on a new construction project in Bellefonte. For more information, visit or call 353-2390.

Jill Redman is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County.