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.
The Trent Family
Kim Trent originally got involved with Habitat as a local volunteer. But the early 2000s were difficult for Kim and her family, then living in a rented house in Wilkinsburg. Kim and her husband were both dealing with medical challenges, but Kim still found the time and strength to volunteer for a Habitat project in the Hill district. Juggling work, health, and volunteering for Habitat turned out to give Kim energy she didn’t know she had. She moved up to volunteering in the Habitat main office. And it was here that her attachment to Habitat became stronger. She cried when she first saw the sign in the office that says “building homes for God’s people.” From that point onward, Habitat meant something more personal to her, and her commitment deepened.
During the winter of 2003-2004, the pipes burst in her Wilkinsburg home and the heating went out. The landlord refused to help, and Kim knew she had to make a major change in her family’s life, to get out of the renting trap. Habitat was the answer. She increased her volunteer work and put in an application for a Habitat house in early 2004. Kim and her sons joined a crew building a house on a nice hill in Duquesne. As her volunteer hours piled up, Kim knew she was getting closer to her goal of getting her own house. In 2004, Habitat called and told her that she was approved for a new home, on the empty lot right next door to the house she'd already been volunteering on. “I dropped the phone in joy!” says Kim.
On May 17, 2008, Kim finally received the keys to her new home. Kim had 27 sponsors present on move in day, and their generosity brought her to tears once again. “The kitchen was stocked. It looked liked they had taken me shopping and picked out my favorite things.” A party began in full swing, with food and music inside and out, and many volunteers there to celebrate with Kim and her family. “Already my sons were picking out their rooms, but I told them I had first dibs,” says Kim, laughing.
Kim and her family are grateful to Habitat Pittsburgh for helping them gain a new life. “Putting in the volunteer hours myself gave me an appreciation for what a Habitat home really and truly meant. I got to see up close that Habitat is a very caring, understanding organization. They come into the community and draw the community out to help them. They have truly been a blessing unto me.”
If you'd like to donate to help Habitat provide more homes to deserving families like Kim's, please click here.
**Original story by Joe Coohill (abbreviated version)