Habitat houses create secure spaces

Before moving into their Habitat York County home in 2005, Shenita Hart and her two children weren’t safe inside or outside the walls of their apartment.

Inside, where they should have felt safe and secure, the family lived with mildew on the windowsills and in the bottom of the cabinets. “I was in the end apartment, so when the drainage stopped up, I had water down the hallway. They had to replace the carpet several times,” Hart remembers. The walls themselves were cracking and pulling apart in the corners due to all of the moisture.

Outside those walls, drug dealers and their customers made Hart wary of letting her kids out of her sight. “They couldn’t go out by themselves,” she says. “The only time they went out, I was with them.”

For the Harts, a Habitat home represented a new sense of safety — and freedom. “We have a yard so my son was able to go out and throw around the football,” says Hart. “My daughter actually started wanting to have more people over because the house was in a better living condition.”

Now, Hart knows she’ll never have to worry so much about her walls.

“I just thank God that he gave me the opportunity,” she says. “I was paying a lot of rent before. Now, I put my money into my house. I can look and say, ‘This is where this went. This went into my home.’ It makes a difference.”