The Pope Francis House becomes a Home

December 12, 2015: The Pope Francis House is now a home for the Duck Family of three.

It’s been a difficult road that she’s traveled, but Tamika Duck, the 79th Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh (HfHGP) program family, has stayed strong and steady.  Three years ago, Tamika moved away from a challenging relationship and boldly chose a fresh start for herself and her two children, Tamya and Trevell. The Duck family moved back to Tamika’s hometown of Pittsburgh, where, despite having two high-level degrees, she struggled to find a job that would adequately provide for her family. As a result, the family found themselves in a Women’s Shelter for a year.

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Tamika and her children, ages three and five, found rental housing through the help of the Greater Pittsburgh YMCA. Tamika now holds a full-time, ancillary coordinator position at UPMC after going through the Health Care Office Skills program offered by Goodwill’s Employment Training Center. She actively volunteers in the Pittsburgh community and serves as the President of the Kingsley Association's Parents Council in East Liberty.  In August, Tamika earned the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators’ 2015 Distinguished Graduate Award. Tamika’s determination has finally come to fruition as she receives the keys to her new home.

The rehabilitation of this three-bedroom, Penn Hills home was made possible by a $60,000 anonymous donation in honor of Pope Francis. The Holy Father’s leadership of the Catholic Church has been an inspiration to people of all faiths, moving this individual to contribute specifically towards a “Pope House.”   The sponsorship came with a challenge to raise an additional $40,000 and invite people of all faiths to work together on the home. Some of the faith-based groups contributing to this goal have included St. Maurice Parish, St. Kilian’s Parish, Knights of Columbus, Bishop Canevin High School, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church, and the First Unitarian Church and additional anonymous donors. HFHGP is greatly appreciative to our anonymous donor and to all members of the Pittsburgh community who have made this home possible.

Habitat would also like to thank the Most Reverend David A. Zubik, Diocesan Bishop of Pittsburgh, and Tamika’s pastor, Pastor Alvin Berkely from Liberty Baptist Church who led Tamika's home dedication ceremony, as well as all attendees ceremony attendees who made this day special for Tamika and her family. We wish the Duck family peace and happiness in their new home.

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is to eliminate substandard housing in Allegheny County by bringing people together to build, rehabilitate, and repair homes, communities, and hope.