Thirty-two years ago, Bob and Phyllis purchased a 1,011 square-foot house filled with sentimental memories and a rich history from Phyllis’ mother. The two-story white home with red trim, painted in Phyllis’ mother’s favorite colors, with a detached two-car garage on Meadow Street in Westfield was built in 1880. It’s said the garage, which boasts a chimney and second floor, had once been a blacksmith’s shop.
Soon, the house will receive a makeover as the siding will be removed and replaced with vinyl during Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity’s (GSHFH) Veteran Build event sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation. Remediation and remodeling will be completed by our community construction partners at Associated Building Wreckers and Lakay Building and Remodeling.
Bob, a former Marine lance corporal, who served four years and served in the Vietnam War as a teenager, applied to the home preservation program. The opportunity provides affordable micro-loans to qualifying homeowners who need help with accessibility modifications, home weatherization, general home repairs, yard cleanup, and landscaping. Some critical repair work and larger loans are available on a case-by-case basis.
“It’s time for a change and a change of colors,” said Phyllis, who is no stranger to GSHFH and its mission. “This is a good program with really excellent, friendly, and nice people. They treated us well.”
In 2017, Bob and Phyllis’ received help during GSHFH’s International Women Build Week event when a team of volunteers with the GSHFH construction crew who cleaned the exterior and awnings. They also weatherized the windows and repaired the hole beneath the kitchen sink.
“We are happy to have been given the opportunity, community partnerships, and funding allowing us to make the rest of the repairs that the Bronson home was in need of that we could not do back in 2017,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH executive director.
The project will start this spring and be completed by June of 2021.
For more information on the home preservation program, go to habitatspringfield.org/home-preservation