The Moorefields are brightening the lives of Pittsburgh’s kids and young women

Each year, Cornerstone Ministries, pastored by Dr. Donn S. Chapman, engages in Uncommon Service Weekend to assist families who need home repairs of all types. Previously, Cornerstone’s 1,000 volunteers have primarily served in Westmoreland County. This is the first time Uncommon Service Weekend will extend into Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods. The Church suspends its three services for a weekend to maximize volunteer participation. Cornerstone Ministries, based in Murrysville, also pays for all repairs and uses its volunteers, many of whom are skilled professionals to complete the work.

HARD AT WORK—Volunteers from the Uncommon Service Weekend place drywall in the Race Street home.

“Habitat Pittsburgh understands that safe and healthy homes are critically important and that’s why the organization focuses on both homeownership and home repairs,” Dr. Slaughter said. “This partnership is symptomatic of what cross-pollination of suburban ministry and urban revivification can be. Vulnerable families whose homes need repair benefit from partnerships such as the one Habitat Pittsburgh and Cornerstone Ministries have initiated. Needed repairs that remain unresolved often result in more concerns and costs futuristically and in some cases, may be unresolvable if not addressed in a timely manner, which is why this initiative is so imperative. Home repairs are always necessary, particularly for seniors, who may also have mobility issues and live on a fixed income, which limits their ability to pay for necessary repairs.”
“Cornerstone’s mission is to build lives and families on lasting values,” said Chapman. “Because of his role as CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh and as a trustee at Cornerstone Ministries, I knew Dr. Slaughter was deeply committed to helping families. Our church wanted to extend its work into urban communities and Dr. Slaughter was the natural choice. The result is Urban Uncommon Service Weekend. We are overjoyed to have our church members volunteering to repair the homes of eight families. At Cornerstone, we put our faith into action, that’s what Uncommon Service Weekend is all about!”
Statistics indicate that since 1986, Habitat Pittsburgh has worked to make decent shelters a matter of conscience and action and has built or rehabilitated nearly 80 homes and completed more than 40 home repairs in partnership with their volunteers, local communities and low-income families in need. They are an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a global, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing.
True believers in the Habitat for Humanity concept, the Moorefields instill the philosophy of helping others into their children, the women they work with through their Serenity Living Transitional Home, their youth mentoring program and the 70 football players and dancers they are involved with. Their 9-year-old son, himself an entrepreneur, makes care packages for the homeless, Ashley said.
Women living in their transitional home can stay up to two years. Aiming to eliminate their barriers and to instill hope, she explained that they provide life skills, job readiness and money management training as well as assist them in building partnerships.
A decade ago the Moorefields established a mentoring program in their home in Enright Court but soon had to move it to the Kingsley Association and then Destiny Ministries. “Noticing that many of the kids didn’t have stable housing we obtained our non-profit status in 2013 and created Serenity Transitional Home, aiming for it to be a place of peace,” Ashley explained. In addition, the couple operates flag and contact football and dance teams for 9 to 15-year-olds throughout Allegheny County. Often using her social worker skills, Ashley, at times, attends meetings for and with parents and help advocate for participants in their programs.
The Moorefields’ agenda is to challenge the minds of the young people they work with. “Our team colors are red, black and green,” Ashley said. “We want our kids to know where they come from, that they are kings and queens.”
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