Community Homeworks Honored with Two Historic Preservation Awards

Community Homeworks has caught the attention of two historic preservation groups for their work in older homes! The organization was recently recognized both locally and statewide this May for its efforts to keep older homes safe and livable. 

A unique partnership with the O’Connor Fund for Historic Preservation was the first acknowledgment of how Community Homeworks’ Critical Repair Program can contribute to historic preservation. This partnership resulted in a grant to assist with repairs on homes 50 years or older to keep those homes safely occupied and avoid condemnation. Community Homeworks was able to utilize the grant easily; the average home served through its Critical Home Repair Program was 99 years old in 2022.

The partnership with the O’Connor Fund for Historic Preservation brought up conversations about how keeping a home livable was good for preserving the history of the structure and neighborhood. This conversation was continued when the Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MNPH) and the City of Kalamazoo both honored Community Homeworks by granting them awards for their contribution to historic preservation.

The MNPH is a statewide organization that works to recognize and preserve Michigan’s rich cultural and architectural heritage. In order to be considered, Community Homeworks had to be nominated for the MNPH’s 2023 award season. The nominees were then judged based on how well they positively impacted historic preservation and affected communities, projects, or individuals.

At their Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, “A Fragile Balance: How Heritage Tourism Balances Profitability and Authenticity,” on May 12th and 13th, MNPH awarded Community Homeworks with the Government/Institutional Award. The award was accepted by Chris Praedel, Executive Director, and Kaylen Humes, Deputy Director, at the awards ceremony on Mackinac Island.

“We are honored and grateful to be recognized as a 2023 MHPN Annual Preservation Conference award recipient,” said Humes. “It was so powerful to hear about all the historic preservation efforts throughout the state, and we are just excited and proud that our team is able to contribute to the cause.” 

Locally, the City of Kalamazoo honored Community Homeworks at the annual Historic Preservation Awards on May 31st, 2023. Kalamazoo is where Community Homeworks conducts most of its projects through the Critical Home Repair Program, and the local Historic Preservation Commission recognized them for their efforts to preserve Kalamazoo’s local history. 

The Kalamazoo Historic Commission recognized Community Homeworks with an Award of Merit. This was a unique award, as the usual recipients have built new projects at infill sites or completed exterior rehabilitation. However, Community Homeworks was recognized for its critical interior repairs on aging homes that keep the home livable. 

“The Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission realizes that our work helps keep homeowners in older homes,” Nancy Servoss, Fund Development Specialist at Community Homeworks, said. “That insight is impressive and speaks to their creative dedication to the historical integrity of our community.” 

Click here to learn more about Community Homeworks’ impact on historic preservation.

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