WEST SPRINGFIELD — In September, Purple Heart Homes (PHH), a veterans-services agency that focuses on housing solutions, asked Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH), a nonprofit and non-governmental organization, if it would like to collaborate on a home-preservation project. Peter, a retired Army National Guard staff sergeant, and his wife, Beth, purchased a duplex in Monson three years ago. They live in one unit. Beth’s daughter and young son live in the other residence. Both units needed repair.
GSHFH’s Home Preservation Program provides affordable microloans to qualifying homeowners who need help with accessibility modifications, home weatherization, general home repairs, yard cleanup, and landscaping. Greater Springfield Habitat sent staff to assess the three areas of concern — a moss-spotted roof, a broken water heater in the daughter’s unit, and damaged exterior doors at both dwellings.
“We are always happy to work cooperatively with Purple Heart Homes to improve the living conditions for an area veteran and his or her family,” said Deborah O’Mara, Family Services manager. “By teaming up, we can do much more than either organization could ever do alone. When we are finished, the Wiggins family will have a fully functional and weathertight home in which to live.”
Matt Stevenson, director of PHH’s Veteran Home Opportunity Program, agreed.
“For Purple Heart Homes, our partnership with GSHFH for Peter’s home remodel/repair project is a significant force multiplier for our organization. This collaboration bridges both our organizations’ strengths, and together, we’re able to assist more veterans in our communities,” Stevenson said. “This is the second veteran project PHH has completed with Greater Springfield Habitat, and we look forward to a continued partnership in the future.”
The roof, siding, and water-heater issues were addressed in December. Exterior doors for side entrances and the basement are on order.
“My house was looking like the Amityville Horror house, but now it sparkles like Disneyland,” Peter said. “The moss on the roof, gone, The mossy steps in the front, gone. An excellent job worthy of praise and kudos.”