How can I repay the Lord for all Her goodness to me? Psalm 116:12
Like the psalmist, our hearts are full of gratitude for the gifts that winter brought to Lydia’s House. When last we formally communicated with you all we reported that we had a house under contract at 2024 Mills Ave. On March 20 we brought the property before the Norwood board of zoning appeals to request a variance to allow occupancy to be increased from four unrelated adults to six unrelated adults and six children.
Prior to the event neighbors were invited to the hearing through formal notices. Before the meeting we received a number of phone calls—some supportive and others not—inquiring about our specific use. We went to the meeting with anxious hearts but holding to the knowledge we were held in prayer by many and supported by eighteen vocal advocates in attendance. After a hearing that lasted over an hour we were approved unanimously for our variance. We must now wait through a thirty day appeal period, but it is likely that Lydia’s House will have a home come April, and that the home will be in Norwood.
This news greets us at a special time in the Liturgical calendar. For all of us who share the Christian faith, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ this coming Sunday. In January, when we announced our plans to purchase a house and launch this endeavor, we also set Easter-specific fundraising goals. We told you that we hoped to celebrate the resurrection by raising the funds to purchase a house where the lives of women and children in crisis could, too, experience rebirth.
With the addition of a sizable completely anonymous donation (even we do not know the donor) we have met this goal. We will be purchasing our house with cash. Whoever you are, thank you. Thank you to all of those that are not anonymous as well—it was a mighty effort of many hands that brought together $50,000 in such a short time. This money will pay for the house completely and also cover the demolition necessary before renovation.
We also have raised the first $10,000 toward our phase 2 capital campaign, which we are calling “Restoration.” This phase will cover the improvements to the property that must be completed before we move guests in. In this phase we hope to focus our fundraising efforts more on community groups, church congregations and foundations. That said, we continue to welcome individual dollars and invite you to donate now. If you think your congregation would be willing to partner with us, please let us know. You are our greatest asset in this effort.
As we approached our variance meeting, we couldn’t help but feel that we would be approved. Our feeling of assurance came through knowing that we had already crossed so many seemingly insurmountable barriers. We both said “Would God bring us this far to have us fail?” What a gift it is to open ourselves up to such a journey of faith, to ask and to receive.
Mary Ellen and Meridith
Co-founders of Lydia’s House