Safe, affordable housing is the cornerstone of success in many other aspects of life. When a resident has stable housing, they are able to focus on other things including financial security, health and wellness, and interests and hobbies. Awilda Delgado has lived in Duke Manor Apartments in Lancaster, PA for most of her life. She raised her children in the community alongside many neighbors who had children the same age, and now she is excited to have her grandchildren visit her. She has been active in her community and with her neighbors, participating in HDC’s Resident Academy of Leadership and Inspiration, community projects, and caring for the community garden.
“I love it here in the summer. You can get out of the house and do things,” she shared. “We never had the gardens before. I help with the gardens. I’m the one that’s always planting things. I love plants.”
Read Awilda’s full story in her own words here.
“I’ve lived here for 46 years. I used to live with the father of my kids. I used to live on Locust Street. I was raised in Lancaster. I’m from Puerto Rico, but I was raised here in Lancaster. I went to school here. They sent me back to Puerto Rico when I was 14 years old, when my parents separated. They took me out of school. I took care of my brothers.
I went from Puerto Rico to Brooklyn, New York. That’s where I met the father of my kids. I lived there for four or five years, and then I came back to Lancaster.
I raised my kids here. My oldest is 51, my daughter is 50, and my youngest is 46. I moved here when my youngest was 5 months old. I have eight grandkids and three great-grandkids.
I raised my three kids here. It was good at the time. I could leave my kids outside. It was better then than it is now.
I’ve moved through a few apartments. I’ve had four apartments including the one I live in now. I liked when I had three bedrooms because I had more space. I’m currently waiting for a second floor apartment because of the steps. I have asthma. It will be better.
My sister lives with me. She is disabled. She’s 60 now. She will be with me until she passes. It’s really safe here for my sister. She knows everyone around here. I tell her, don’t open the door for anyone you don’t know. She’s always looking out the window at the neighbors. She sees everybody. She knows Miss Betty’s car.
I love it here in the summer. You can get out of the house and do things. You never had the gardens before. I help with the gardens. I’m the one that’s always planting things. I love plants. I hope when they move me it will be closer to the garden.
We have our group of friends. We get together in the community with that group. Everyone who got into RALI (Resident Academy of Leadership and Inspiration), I knew them. The building that I live in, I know everyone there. I heard that another friend of ours will be moving downstairs. Their boys are very nice. If they need my help, I’ll be there.”