September 23, 2020
New Porch for Alexander-Harris
Retired Crew removing the old porch (above); down to the pillars (top right); the new porch (right)
"Habitat rescued me just in time," is how Barbara Alexander-Harris thinks about the new porch A Brush With Kindess (ABWK) made possible.

Barbara has spent her life taking care of others. She raised her own children, then her grandchildren, then she cared for her ailing mother. After her mother passed away, Barbara took over fulltime care for two brothers with disabilities, moving them into her home of 20 years. Although on a limited income, she is the sole provider for the family.

As the years went by, the front porch started to wear out. It was the gathering place, the focal point of her house which she lined with pretty flowers every spring. She was worried about the safety of the structure, but didn't have the resources to replace it.

It was at the funeral for a fellow parishioner where she learned about the program. ABWK partner families are accepted through an application process, pay a portion of the costs and put in sweat equity hours like new-construction partner families, making critical repairs possible.

It keeps families in their homes, improves structural integrity, and restores pride. "I never could have afforded a new porch without Habitat," Barbara said. "It was a blessing."
We have been able to complete ABWK projects during the shut down with careful social distancing, using sub-contractors, and the fact they are all outside. This is one essential service we have been able to continue and the word is getting out!

If you or someone you know could benefit from partnering with Habitat McLean County on an exterior home repair project, you can find details and download the application here.
Rehab for partner family
After putting their heart and soul into building their new home, our partner families rarely move. Sometimes, though, they need to accommodate a growing family or a job relocation, or want to downsize when the kids have grown and gone.

When that happens, Habitat McLean County has the opportunity to buy the house back from the owners and rehab the interior for a new partner family. This year, we've started working on one such house on West Grove St. We are in the process of selecting a new partner family to call this home and will share their family bio as soon as we do.

Read current family bios here.
Learn more about becoming a Habitat McLean County partner family.