Home is the key
Thank you! Because of your support we were ready to serve our community in what can only be called a surreal moment in time. Because of you, two families are now settled into their homes in time for remote schooling and four additional homes are underway.
I wish you could have been there when the O'Keefe and Kopiec families took their first steps into their new home. Tears, laughter, smiles and gratitude filled the rooms at the first virtual dedication. They could not stop smiling as they moved into their new homes, it was a moment of joy.
That moment of joy that you made possible sustained us for the months ahead. Building during a pandemic is difficult now. We can no longer have volunteer groups working on site and the price of COVID supplies and building materials has driven up the cost to build. At a time that Habitat should be accelerating we are in danger of slowing down.
With your help that will not be the case.
Now is the time to accelerate our building to be a part of a long term housing, health, and education solution across the area including our rural communities in south county.
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity
Home Builders Blitz
In just one week, 169 professional tradespeople donated over 1,200 hours to raise the walls, roofs, and much more for six new homes. The Home Builders Blitz signals a significant community investment into affordable homeownership, dramatically increasing Habitat's capacity to build homes in the Berkshires. Thanks to the numerous partners who came together, two of our six homeowners were able to move into their new homes in less than a year. We are extremely grateful for the support of the local trades men and women of Berkshire County and the leadership of Allegrone Construction.
This means that our newest homeowners were able to meet the uncertainty of the pandemic and the shifting school year with the stability of their own home. With a healthy and safe space to study, play, and grow, these families can worry less and laugh more.
Rapid Community Response
613 local taxpayers filed their tax returns for free with VITA to guarantee accurate returns for low-to-moderate income households.
More than 1,500 meals were delivered during the state shut down to make sure everyone could put food on the table.
When everyday life suddenly became uncertain, Habitat joined resident leaders and community partners to support our neighbors in new ways. As regular pantries and kitchens were forced to shut down, trained Community Navigators stepped up to organize door-to-door meal deliveries. Renters and homeowners struggling to make their monthly housing or utility payments had access to community-wide Neighbor to Neighbor Funds. With the extra time to file taxes, volunteers worked to make sure free tax preparation assistance was available when people most needed it. Together, we proved that our impact can be so much greater than anyone thought possible.
262 people served by Neighbor to Neighbor Funds to maintain safe, stable housing.
Volunteers, navigators, and trainees: whatever your talents, Habitat can find a fit for your passions. This year over 200 residents participated in community meetings and helped to organize neighborhood projects. 760 volunteers worked directly on Habitat's construction sites, the ReStore, and the VITA program. Over 7,000 hours of volunteer service made home possible, made job growth possible, and made neighborhood revitalization possible.
Your voice led the way in advocating for affordable home repairs for existing homeowners. Habitat supports local efforts to establish a fund for under-resourced homeowners to make essential repairs to their homes and developed a construction training program to help bring the next generation of trades professionals to the Berkshires. Habitat Build & Repair Corps is in its second year, offering long-term training to aspiring residents while building a stronger foundation of homeownership.
The Habitat ReStore offers a sustainable and affordable path for household items, appliances, construction wares, and other goods to find their way into the hands that need them and out of the path of landfills. The ReStore was just one of many businesses that found itself facing a crisis when the pandemic hit Massachusetts, struggling to operate under heavy restrictions. As the major fundraiser for Central Berkshire Habitat and a key source for affordable home goods and construction materials, it needed to adapt quickly to the changing tides of the community. We temporarily closed our doors in order to come back stronger and better prepared to serve our donors, customers, and neighbors. With new online shopping options, curb-side pickup, and no contact drop-offs ReStore worked around the clock to make the entire process safe and easy.
If you are worried about finding a safe way to remove household furniture or you don't know where to take your reusable appliances, reach out and call the ReStore donation hot line. If you need a desk for your remote learners or a filing cabinet for your ad hoc home office, check out our daily postings on Facebook or stop by the store. Whether its virtual or in person, we'll be stronger together.
Open Store Hours
Wednesday - Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
399 Hubbard Ave., Pittsfield MA
Donations: Call 413-266-1144
Shopping: Call 413-443-2106
Visit us online at: www.berkshirehabitat.org/restore-2