The Gift of “Home”

Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” 

As we enter the month of December, which is often referred to as the season of giving and, unfortunately, one of the most stressful times of the year, maybe it’s time we focus on giving a different kind of gift. 

Most of us think of giving our friends and family individual gifts, but Picasso refers to the gift of his talent, which is meant to be shared with others. You may think, “I’m not an artist,” and that’s okay. We all have talents that can be shared to make our communities better. 

At Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we are grateful for the talents our volunteers share with us every day. From our Board of Advisors, committee members, and event planners to our volunteers working on the job site and in our ReStores. Together, they have donated over 140,000 hours to help us give more than 500 families the gift of a Home. 

Linda Bedolla and her daughterThe families in Habitat’s program work alongside our volunteers to build their homes and the homes of their neighbors. Once they begin paying a mortgage on their new home, part of their mortgage funds the construction of homes for future Habitat homeowners. Therefore giving families the opportunity to give the gift of Homeownership to others. 

Do you remember using the key to open the door to your first home? The pride you felt in owning something you worked hard for? Or how about the excitement you felt thinking about all of the memories you would make and the celebrations to come?

Now think about how you would feel if, despite working hard every day, you realized that you would never be able to own your home – hopeless and defeated because you couldn’t provide a safe, healthy environment for your kids to grow up and thrive. That is precisely how Linda Bedolla felt.

Linda had been dreaming of buying her own home, but she could not find anything in her price range. She and her daughter had no choice but to share a bedroom in her mother’s small, one-bathroom home with five other people. Linda thought she would never have the opportunity to buy a place of her own until a friend told her about Habitat.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, Habitat for Humanity of Chester County will build 20 affordable homes in the next year, along with completing various Neighborhood Revitalization and Critical Home Repair projects across Chester County. These new and revived homes create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, attract employers, increase consumer spending and government revenues, and lower the risk of foreclosure, essentially giving the gifts of transformative benefits to families and resiliency in communities. 

This December, consider giving a different kind of gift. Whether volunteering, donating in honor, or in memory of someone to a local shelter or cause close to your heart, let’s all find “our gift and give it away.” Make a donation today.

Lowes Home Revitalization Grant and ARPA Critical Home Repair Grant

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repairHabitat for Humanity of Chester County is proud to announce that we have received funding from the Lowes Neighborhood Revitalization Grant for Home Preservation and the American Rescue Plan Act Grant for Critical Home Repair. These allocated funds are dedicated to our neighborhood revitalization projects in Coatesville, Pennsylvania! At Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we recognize having a safe and comfortable place to live as a fundamental human right. Our mission is to help our neighbors build strength, stability, and independence through homeownership.

We look forward to progressing on these exciting new projects in Coatesville, Pennsylvania!

Habitat for Humanity of Chester County was awarded $10,500 in funds from the Lowes Home Revitalization Grant for Home Preservation. With this funding, eleven families will receive an exterior “facelift” to their homes on Coates Street in downtown Coatesville. Our team at Habitat has specifically selected this block on Coates Street because we will be constructing more homes here in the near future. The block residents have communicated that they are excited about the construction of Habitat homes on their street. One homeowner states, “It will add value to my home and help to revitalize Coatesville.” 

This neighborhood revitalization project will consist of repairs to broken windows, capping of windows and fascia, replacement of gutters and downspouts, repair of porch railings, replacement of storm doors, repair of fencing, and a fresh coat of paint to the awnings and porches. 

One homeowner stated, “I am looking forward to enjoying my front porch, a place I have never been able to enjoy before.” 

Habitat for Humanity of Chester County was awarded ARPA funds to make critical home repairs on 100 homes in Coatesville. These repairs include modifications that will make the homes safer, drier, and more habitable or allow residents to age in place. These repairs will revitalize the aging housing stock in Coatesville, PA. Our goal is to provide more habitable properties for families and individuals in the area. Through the efforts of this project, we are sustainably increasing the amount of decent, affordable homes in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

A Word From Our Current Coatesville Residents 

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, we held a Homeowner Dedication Event for three of our families in Coatesville. The event welcomed the three families into their new neighborhoods with Habitat for Humanity and was a unique celebration of their new homeownership status!

The Soto Family

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair

The Soto Family

Introducing the Soto family!

Our lives had changed from the moment we received the phone call that we had been accepted to the program to the day we signed papers at settlement and received the key for our home. That’s an experience that my husband and I will never forget. We thank God for this wonderful blessing He has given us. My oldest daughter Liz says she’s still in disbelief every time she comes home and looks at this view we’ve been given. She thinks, oh wow, this is where I live, and that’s my house right in the center of our little neighborhood. This is really ours, and we never have to move away; we actually get to stay here forever. Having our own home has not only changed my husband’s and my life forever but, my kid’s life.

 A house is made of walls and beams. A home is made of love and dreams.” – Ivette 

The Holmes Family

Introducing Lynette Holmes! 

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair

Lynette Holmes and Executive Director Chris Wiseman

Lynette moved into her own safe, affordable home after a long journey of obstacles. She has battled personal health issues, worked full-time, raised three kids, and put in over 200 hours of sweat equity. It was a proud day to hand her the keys to her own home.

The amount of determination someone has isn’t a question on a bank loan, but it’s a common factor for most Habitat homeowners. Stories of triumph like Lynette’s remind us that these homes are not a hand-out. They’re a hand-up, helping families gain strength, stability, and independence through homeownership.

Photo Caption: Lynette Holmes and Executive Director Chris Wiseman 

The Woodward Family

Introducing Janet Woodward!

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair“I am a single mother with a seven-year-old son. We currently live in a two-bedroom apartment in Regency Park Apartments. I was provided with the opportunity to obtain low-income housing the same year I started Nursing school, which was in 2016. I completed Nursing school in 2018 and began to pay market-rate rent in my development. During this time, I began looking at rental properties, but I noticed that most of the nice houses were outside the budget I set for myself. Instead of allowing this experience to discourage me from moving forward, it motivated and inspired me to become a homeowner. I heard about the Habitat Homeowner program years ago from my aunt who currently lives in a Habitat home. I am happy that I can become a homeowner. I look forward to participating in the education requirements so that I am fully prepared to become a homeowner and stay a homeowner. The sweat hours that are required will provide me with the chance to not only build my home but someone else’s home, which is exciting! I am most looking forward to seeing my son’s reaction when I get the chance to show him ours forever home. I am hoping to make it a surprise! This entire experience will allow me to appreciate the process and hard work that goes into building homes. It is also a gentle reminder of my hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I am forever grateful.” 

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair

Janet Woodward and Executive Director Chris Wiseman

Our Mission

It is heartwarming, amazing, and awe-inspiring to see how our program here at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County has such a positive impact on families and livelihoods. For many families, it is the first place they can officially call home. For many children, it is the first time they have their own bedroom. It is a milestone event that significantly impacts all aspects of their everyday lives. 

We are so excited to begin our new revitalization projects in Coatesville, PA, thanks to the grants received from Lowes and ARPA. These projects will undoubtedly impact the lives of current and future residents in the Coatesville area. We can’t wait to share with you the finished revitalization!

To learn more about how to get involved with our mission at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, or apply to be a Habitat homeowner please visit our website