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Independence, restored

 
 
 
For Belmont resident Ms. Margaret, a new bathroom is liberating and life changing.

“How can Habitat work with me?”

This is the question Ms. Margaret asked skeptically when a friend suggested she reach out to Habitat for home repairs. With social security as her only source of income, she was sure that she would not be able to find the help she needed.

Originally from Atlanta, Ms. Margaret moved to Philadelphia with her father and six brothers at the age of eight. The family settled in West Philly, where Ms. Margaret has lived ever since.

After graduating from Overbrook High School, Ms. Margaret worked in a local nursing home for 21 years and raised her two children. Around the time her first granddaughter was born, she bought her first home, the 130-year-old West Philly row home where she currently resides.

Five years ago, health challenges caused Ms. Margaret to lose both of her legs, and her home of nearly three decades was not accommodating. The first floor hallway that allowed access to the kitchen and first floor bathroom was too narrow for a wheelchair to pass through.

Ms. Margaret, with access to the front room of her home only, suddenly relied heavily on the help of her grandchildren. She lacked access to a sink, shower, or proper toilet in the home. Necessary repairs to her home became more personal and important than ever before.

 
 
A reconfigured floorplan

How can Habitat work with Ms. Margaret?

A reconfigured floor plan opens up a hallway wide enough for full access of the first floor of the home, and a brand new, accessible bathroom adjacent to Ms. Margaret’s bedroom is truly life changing.

The beautiful bathroom is a symbol of the independence restored in her life. She dances her way through the wide door to demonstrate how easily and autonomously she can use the sink. In her words, “The best thing in the world that someone could possibly do for me happened because of Habitat’s partnership.”