22 July, 2014
Reclaiming Hope

RECLAIMING HOPE | Hope is the starting point for Urban Homeworks, the force that brings together low-income families, young professionals, job skill trainees, and volunteers from all walks of life into an exchange that restores homes and creates a space for neighbors to engage.

CourtneyIt was a familiar scene.  As a mother of two, I formed an instant, wordless connection with ‘Taya as she welcomed me into her new home with a phone to her ear, gently shushing a five-year-old while she finished setting up an appointment for her mother.  She held up a finger indicating that she’d be with me in a minute and I got to introduce myself to the little man contentedly watching PBS before his bus came to take him to preschool.  

When the phone call ended, ‘Taya, our newest Project:RECLAIM homeowner, proudly guided me through each room, pointing out all of the elements – the porch, the beautiful built-ins - that “just feel like, I don’t know, home things.”  Eventually, we landed back in the living room with Taya’s godson and Sesame Street.  “We don’t watch any of that violent stuff they show on other kids’ stations.”

Courtney-with-PuppyAfter working out some housewarming party details and before leaving, I was compelled to ask, “Are the kids excited to be here?  How do they feel?”  ‘Taya rolled her eyes, “Are you kidding me?  Courtney [their four year old] – well, you saw her bedroom upstairs…it’s RIGHT next to the bathroom.  But that girl refuses to use it.  She runs to the downstairs bathroom every time.  She told me ‘Momma, we have TWO bathrooms now!” 

As a family that has been committed to being there for friends and family, there were seasons they’d hospitably made space for up to eight others…in an apartment with ONE bathroom (“You gotta take care of family,” ‘Taya said.).  The Morgan’s had worked hard to “get ahead,” but common obstacles seemed to set them back again and again.  After working with the NAZ and taking advantage of Urban Homeworks’ homeownership tools, they were able to build momentum in the direction they’d always hoped to head. 

Now, their new house, fully loaded with all of the “home things” they could ask for (and two bathrooms) has become a dream come true that will be foundational for little Courtney and the four other kids that are memorizing their address with a new sense of pride and confidence.

15 homeownership applications are submitted each month.  Ten families are approved and waiting for houses to become available, and 356 are waiting for rental.  Join us and help lay new foundations for our neighbors.

Read about another beautiful exchange between the Morgan’s and their new neighbor by clicking here.  

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