Thursday, July 19, 2018

Habitat Homeowner Making a Difference on Walnut

Tamara Charles and her family, son Khalid Hardimon and her daughters Keira, 7 and Keirsten, 6, will get the keys to 439 Walnut St. tomorrow. She is already making a difference in her neighborhood by heading up an anti-littering campaign.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery/Delaware Counties.

When Tamara Charles purchases her Habitat home and receives the keys tomorrow, there will be something noticeable in the window of 439 Walnut St., something that makes her especially gratified.

It’s a sign that reads “Proud Pottstown Neighbor – Don’t Litter;” a sign that symbolizes her hard work as a community volunteer, and the comeback of pride in her hometown.

Tamara is one of the founding members of Pottstown Community Action (PCA), a group initiated two years ago by Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization effort. After working quietly on a mission and logo, meeting with the Mayor and borough council, and connecting with other community leaders, PCA is ready for visibility, and more action. 

Tamara Charles and her daughters clean up their neighborhood.
Its first line of attack: litter. Among its ammunition: newly printed window decals and lawn signs for the neighborhood.

“We chose an anti-litter campaign because it’s a way to see immediate improvement in the neighborhood,” explains Tamara. “For our first block cleanup, we removed about 40 bulk trash items. We have a standing offer to residents: get a few neighbors out and we’ll bring the coffee and donuts, supplies and volunteers, and we’ll make sure the trash bags are removed.

“Kids have been helping and we hope to add individuals who need to fulfill community service hours, as well as youth from the school district.”

PCA is also working on building leaders in Pottstown. On July 21st, PCA, in collaboration with Habitat MontDelco is hosting an all-day workshop called “Actively Leading Pottstown Towards Prosperity.” To register go to

A Spirit of Cooperation

“Since launching a Neighborhood Revitalization zone in 2016, we have remained committed to engaging, empowering, and educating local residents coming alongside them so that they can improve the quality of life within their own neighborhood,” says Marianne Lynch, CEO of Habitat MontDelco. “There’s a lot of momentum now from PCA, local non-profits, businesses, and the Borough.”

“This town has an incredible stock of historic homes and families who have been here for decades. Many residents have a clear vision of what Pottstown can be again and they are sharing that vision with others. I thanks to people like Tamara who are deeply passionate about this place. It’s also due to a wonderful attitude of cooperation that’s prevalent across the community.”

Instrumental in creating collaborations, Habitat MontDelco became a member of Pottstown CARES in 2018, and is working with other nonprofits such as Genesis Housing Corporation, and Mosaic Community Land Trust.

417 Chestnut Street

For its next project, Habitat is collaborating with Genesis Housing and Mosaic Community Land Trust on 417 Chestnut Street, right next to one of the Mosaic Community Gardens in Pottstown. Genesis is providing technical assistance, Mosaic will work with Habitat to provide a homeownership through the community land trust model, and Habitat will complete the full rehabilitation of the home.

“It’s a natural partnership because we have the same goals—to get people into a home, grow their wealth, put down roots and improve their community at the same time,” said Tracy Purdy, President of Mosaic. “From a resource perspective it makes perfect sense; it’s three times the expertise using one-third of the funding.”

About Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties

The mission of Habitat MontDelco is to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Habitat constructs homes for affordable home ownership, preserves aging housing stock by completing critical home repairs, provides financial literacy and life skills classes, and revitalizes neighborhoods.

For more information, call 610-278-7710, email, or visit

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