Charlie's Corner: Charles Rush

It often begins with Hope.

I love the word hope. It is one of our Core Values. According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, “Hope, in general definition, means a desire for things to change for the better, and to want that better situation very much.”

In the case of Community Homes and its pursuit of increasing the number of safe, affordable housing for a growing market of people who are looking to us for help – plans are in place.

Each day brings us closer to the reality of “that better situation” with the construction of the 23-unit Canal Affordable Housing Project. Phase ONE is scheduled for completion in 2022. The Project will provide a place to live for a variety of people in need, including small families, the ambulatory disabled, and our aging population. We see this accomplishment, with the support of our community, as a beginning for the future of Community Homes of Lebanon County.

Hope is also a keyword for the residents of our existing 287 individual apartments throughout Lebanon County. For some of them, with annual incomes below $9,000, it would have been impossible to find safe, healthy, living space. But for Community Homes, hope would be lost.

Core Value in Action

This is the story of a diminutive 80-year-old lady called Samantha (not her real name). If there was ever a good reason to give up hope, try to live her story. A single woman, Samantha devoted her life to helping her parents until they passed. The toilet in her rented apartment had not worked in a very long time, forcing her to walk to a nearby business to use a bathroom. Her rent was $782 per month, plus electricity (with a baseboard heater that barely worked). The rent ($650) represented 83% of her monthly income ($782). She could not afford a phone, or to seek medical attention. Then her local rental agent interceded and orchestrated a move to a Community Homes apartment. She is now living in a clean, safe, and affordable (based on rent structured on a much smaller percentage of her income). Samantha’s life now exudes hope and reinforces our own dedication to our mission to “be there” for as many as the “Samantha’s of the world” as we can help.