One of Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity’s primary roles in the Rockford community is increasing access to homeownership through the construction of safe, affordable housing. However, one of the greatest housing-related needs in Rockford is the need for home repairs in existing homes. This summer, we were able to respond to this need by completing a variety of critical home repairs in Rockford, an effort that was funded by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.
One of the repairs was the installation of a ramp for a homeowner named Frances. She said that she was impressed with the quality of the repair, and that she really enjoyed working with Gary, our construction assistant (Gary was the primary overseer of all of the home repairs). Frances shared that the ramp finally makes her home fully accessible to her, which has changed her daily life in a powerful way.
“[The ramp] makes a world of difference,” Frances said. “I’m able to get out of the house now.”
Patricia, another homeowner we partnered with, described the impact of the repairs around her house in a similar way. Some of the repairs in her home included adding railing to the steps on her deck, replacing some of the exterior doors, repairing her kitchen counters (shown in the photo at the top of this post), adding drywall in the basement, and replacing some of the flooring in the kitchen.
“[Habitat] gave me a lot of help,” Patricia said. “I feel so different. The whole house is a really old house, but now when I see my counter in the kitchen, it makes me feel good…It’s so nice, and it looks beautiful.”
Patricia exuded pride in her home as she talked over all of the other repairs that had been completed. She said that having the opportunity to take these steps to improve her home is something she is deeply grateful for, and she hopes that other homeowners in Rockford can have that opportunity.
“[The repairs] changed my life. Every time I see everything that Gary did, I feel so happy—so happy,” Patricia said. “I don’t have the words to say the right things, because it’s something really, really special that I feel right now. I see my house, and it’s completely different. Thank you guys. Thank you very much.”
At the core of Habitat’s mission is the belief that everyone deserves a safe, stable, quality place to call home, and we know that critical home repairs are key to making that vision a reality. We are truly thankful for the opportunity to partner with homeowners like Frances and Patricia, and our hope is to continue to further the work of home preservation in years to come.
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois for making this effort possible.