Faith-based volunteer groups help fix up Philly housing
This summer, some 200 volunteers from churches across the country will return in partnership with the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), the Salvation Army, the City of Philadelphia, and other local businesses. World Changers, which consists of ten different churches around the U.S., will be painting, landscaping, and performing maintenance at ten sites across the city.
The volunteer group not only sacrifices much of their summer vacation to help Philadelphia institutions, but they also pay their own expenses. Their efforts are expected to save PHA at least $100,000, a gift that has been received gratefully by the agency.
“We welcome productive partnerships with groups such as World Changers,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. “Given the budgetary constraints that challenge the agency today, partnerships are becoming more and more important. It is both a privilege and opportunity to offer service and I heartily thank these young people.”
Five of the volunteer areas are PHA housing sites: Wilson Park, Johnson Homes, Fairhill Apartments, Spring Garden Apartments and Holmecrest Homes. Over the course of the week, building trades workers employed by PHA will be supervising the volunteers at the job sites.
PHA Commissioner Rev. Bonnie Camarda, the Director of Partnerships for the Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, helped facilitate the partnership years ago.
“Part of community service is showing others that you care and that’s what PHA residents will see,” Camarda said. “There is no better gift than when someone gives of themselves. The World Changers project provides students and adults a venue in which to live out their faith in a loving God.”
Since 1990, World Changers has organized over 300,000 volunteers in 75 cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.