COATESVILLE, PA — On Saturday, July 18, Habitat for Humanity of Chester County hosted members of the community for a dedication celebration that has been a long time coming.
Even through a pandemic, these three single moms helped build the homes that meant a brighter future for their kids. Jen Pursell, Veronica Ortiz, and Sheryl Carter are all official Habitat homeowners. Ortiz and Carter settled on their homes back in December after patiently seeing what the COVID-19 crisis meant for construction deadlines. Pursell settled on her home just this month and with restrictions starting to dissipate, the organization was finally able to celebrate the committed, hard work of these women wanting better for their families.
Current Board President Michael Cappelletti led the event and invited Pastor Dan Krewson of Calvary Lutheran Church in West Chester and Director of Chester County Department of Community Development, Patrick Bokovitz to share a few words. Representatives from companies that partnered financially with Habitat to complete these homes were also invited to speak.
Carolyn Wilt and Terri Seamen of Thrivent Financial spoke of their pride in partnering with Habitat for Humanity and congratulated the homeowners on their huge accomplishments. Vernita Dorsey drove from Delaware to also congratulate homeowners as the representative from WSFS bank who has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Chester County for more than five years.
Stephen Briggs of Wells Fargo presented the organization with a check for $20,000 to go towards continuing to build strong foundations in the Coatesville area. Mike Smith from The GIANT Company made the most lasting impression when he presented the homeowners with bags of pantry staples, free delivery of their groceries for a year, and $3,500 to go towards food shopping. Smith shared, “I’m local I’ve been in the Thorndale Giant for 20 some years and recognize some of the faces here. You’re my friends and my neighbors and I’m honored to be here today.”
Other local dignitaries included Coatesville City Council President Linda Lavender-Norris as well as Coatesville City Council Person Donald Folks. Charles “Chip” Houston was also in attendance. Chip served as Habitat for Humanity of Chester County‘s Executive Director for 17 years and is now Coatesville Assistant City Manager. Former Board Presidents Michael Leader and Andy Signore also came out to show their support.
Everyone could agree that it was more than the completion of three houses that made the day special, but instead what having a home signified for the families as well as the building of an entire community.
Habitat homes are not free and in addition to an affordable monthly mortgage payment, each homeowner completed at least 200 hours of “sweat equity” helping to build their home. These houses were also all built completely from volunteers in the community. Dedicated individuals continued to come out to the construction site through the pandemic to help raise walls and hope. No matter what the new restrictions, they were always more than amenable to follow any guidelines to help keep building homes.
Habitat is currently accepting applications for homes in the same Coatesville development. The application and qualifications can all be found online at www.hfhcc.org/homeownership.
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