The Department of Corrections reentry team partnered with Habitat for Humanity, whose vision is to create a community where everyone has a safe, decent, affordable place to live. The York County Habitat for Humanity was established in 1976 as a faith-based housing ministry bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope in York.
Habitat for Humanity is a volunteer driven, Christian housing ministry that builds in partnership with lower-income York County residents living in substandard housing. Funded mainly by private donations, York Habitat provides a “hand up, not a hand out” by offering qualified families an interest free, 30-year mortgage. The organization also provides reentrants opportunities to go from volunteer to homeownership. Qualified applicants must complete 225 sweat-equity hours building a habitat home for someone else, complete extensive budget counseling and work side by side with other homeowners in their neighborhood. Selected homeowners pay 30 percent of their income.
On Nov. 15, Bureau of Community Corrections and Bureau of Reentry employees volunteered with the York Habitat for Humanity to serve in the Chestnut Street Revitalization Project. In 2009, an electric fire burned six row homes on Chestnut Street, and Habitat for Humanity teamed with the City of York Complete Communities to revitalize and rebuild 14 safe, affordable homes in their place.
This partnership between the DOC and Habitat for Humanity has created an opportunity for reentrants and staff to volunteer, learn home building skills and become homeowners in their own neighborhoods. BCC and reentry staff united as a team that supports community initiatives and making a difference in the lives of others. The support and teamwork were spectacular.