SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) homeowner and local veteran Max needed help. The colonial home he purchased in the McKnight neighborhood in 2002 had become a hindrance. Max suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rheumatoid arthritis, which makes climbing stairs to the second-floor bedrooms challenging. He expressed his concerns to Habitat, and together, they discovered a solution. Habitat, through its Veterans Build Home Preservation program, is building a downstairs bedroom and bathroom for the veteran and his wife, Gloria.
Veterans Build is a national Habitat for Humanity initiative that provides housing solutions and volunteer and employment opportunities for U.S. veterans, military service members, and their families. The program serves limited-income homeowners who are affected by age, disability, or family circumstances and struggle to maintain the condition and utility of their homes.
The home-preservation program provides affordable micro-loans to qualifying homeowners who need help with accessibility modifications, home weatherization, general home repairs, yard cleanup, and landscaping. GSHFH works alongside volunteers and homeowners to make repairs.
“Massachusetts has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, and many aging homeowners are unable to make needed repairs on their own,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH’s executive director. “We are happy to be able to help them through the repair process so they can continue to stay in their homes.”
Max, a former Marines corporal, qualified for the Veterans Build Home Preservation program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program. The pilot project gives competitive grants to nonprofits that serve veterans or low-income individuals. The grants can be used to rehabilitate eligible veterans’ primary residences. Purple Heart Homes is donating $15,000 while raising additional funds toward the project. Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit charity, provides housing solutions for former military members who are disabled and/or have decided to age in place.
“Every act of generosity toward our veterans echoes a resounding commitment to honor their service and sacrifice. With deep gratitude, Purple Heart Homes is proud to contribute $15,000 to the Greater Springfield Habitat Humanity home-preservation project, ensuring veteran Maxwell finds solace and security in a place he can call home,” said John Gallina, CEO and co-founder of PHH. “Our mission extends beyond this gift, as we embark on a dedicated fundraising campaign to reach a goal of an additional $10,000. We believe we’re better together. In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, we hope to build a legacy of compassion and support for those who have bravely defended our freedom.”