There’s no place like home...home is where the heart is...home sweet home...and so on. Pop culture has inundated us with inspiring quotes about houses and homes for longer than I can remember. They’re sentimental and sweet, but perhaps they’ve lost their significance due to overuse. These little sayings have even become - perhaps - trivial.
However, that is not the case for everyone. Hardworking, local families in the Lehigh Valley whose dreams of homeownership have escaped them time and time again would do anything for a little placard with one of those simple quotes...and more importantly, a place of their own in which they can hang it.
It is not news to anyone that the importance of our homes - our dwelling place - has been taken to extreme levels over the course of the last twelve months. Articles have been written about it...news reports have illuminated it...and it's right in front of us when we scroll through our social media. We spent time in our homes...A LOT of time. We worked, we learned, we played, we slept, we paced, we stressed, we laughed, we cried, we attempted to make banana bread, we ordered pizza, we binged “The Office” for the 400th time, and we isolated in our homes to keep our families and our communities safe and healthy. At this point, we’ll do anything to get out of said home and not spend every waking hour confined to those same four walls day in and day out. We can only watch so much Netflix before we really start to lose it and defy time as a construct.
On the other hand, when so many of us are longing to escape our homes and the monotony of quarantining, there are just as many of us who long to experience the security and comfort of reliable, affordable housing. They long for nights spent in the home...in the space that is comforting, safe, and necessary for all.
At Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley, we know that a house is more than simply a roof over our heads. A house provides shelter, safety, security, and the knowledge that there is a place to rest our heads at night, free from the burden of unreliable and unsafe housing. Renters in the Lehigh Valley are spending two-thirds of their income in monthly rent...how is that conducive to stable living in a time when financial demands continue to increase?
Habitat Lehigh Valley’s affordable, simple housing solutions allow families to gain peace of mind and heart because, through homeownership, they are finally able to invest in proper healthcare, food security, and education. When Habitat Lehigh Valley staff and volunteers build homes in partnership with local, hardworking families, they aren’t just handing out houses and moving on. They are building futures and dreams. They are creating spaces where strength, stability, and self-reliance can take root and continue to grow over time...safely planted in an unwavering network of support and community.
No man, woman, or child should ever have to worry about if the rug will be pulled out from under them in regards to their living space. Everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live and call home. When you invest in our mission at Habitat Lehigh Valley, you invest in building homes made with perseverance, dedication, and selflessness. When you invest in these local families’ futures, you invest in compassion. You invest in empathy. You invest in love.
Maya Angelou, renowned American poet, memorist, and civil rights activist, once wrote, “The ache for home lives in all of us…” Well, no offense to Maya...but let’s not ever let anyone ache for home ever again. Perhaps “there’s no place like home” really hasn’t lost any meaning. At Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley, we certainly know it hasn’t.