This year marks Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh’s 30th anniversary! Over the past 30 years, we have had the pleasure of working with countless volunteers and community partners in providing affordable homes and repairs to over 130 local partner families. For each month of 2016, we’ll be featuring a different partner family.
Feature: The Dreher Family
Timothy and Shawnda Dreher are McKeesport folks. They’ve lived, worked, and raised their daughter there. It was, therefore, distressing to them when elements of crime slowly crept into their neighborhood. Crime got worse in recent years, and like so many Habitat families, the Drehers found themselves stuck in what some might call “a bad part of town,” renting from disreputable landlords. They became more distressed when it proved too difficult to get a loan to buy a house in a safer area of McKeesport.
Tim worked at Auberle Group Home in McKeesport, and he had seen first-hand how damaging it can be when families break apart. One day at work, Tim saw a Habitat housing application and brought it home. “It was the start of the best thing that’s happened to us in a long time,” he said. Tim and Shawnda submitted an application for a Habitat house, and to their excitement, were selected for a home ot far from McKeesport High School on quiet Jefferson Street. The Drehers loved the house the minute they saw it. Tim’s work was a short walk away, as was their daughter Tamia’s school. It needed a lot of work, but the whole Habitat team tackled the job. Volunteers joined in, as they always do and Tim, Shawnda, and Tamia joined in beside them to complete their 350 hours of sweat equity service. Baseball superstar Andrew McCutchen even served as a volunter, helping to gut the existing kitchen and rebuild it.
On Friday, September 13th, 2013, Tim and Shawnda received the keys to their Habitat home. The best part of having a home to the Drehers, is being able to spend holidays together in their own home. They have enjoyed meeting their new neighbors and cultivating gardens in their yard. Partnering with Habitat has boosted the Drehers’ desire to give back to the community they’ve called home for so long. Tamia looks forward to volunteering for Habitat after high school. Tim spreads the word about Habitat's programs. And Shawnda makes sure the spirit keeps flowing in the house and neighborhood. They are long-time local people who are now stakeholders in a new, hopeful McKeesport.