Recently, Habitat for Humanity broke ground on our Miltimore Street Project. Which is the next step in the ongoing Buttonwood Gateway Project. While the celebration looked to the future of what life on Miltimore Street could look like, one person recalls their childhood growing up on Miltimore Street.

Millie Illas-Lockhart attended the groundbreaking as an employee of one of our Rooftop Sponsors, Visions Federal Credit Union. What she thought would just be another event, showcasing Visions’ support in our community, turned into a trip down memory lane.

Millie recalls living in one of the former homes on Miltimore Street while growing up. Her family, including her parents and 4 sisters, rented the home for almost 3 years before moving to the 400 block of Gordon Street. Eventually, Millie ended up in foster care, and, despite staying in Reading, she did not visit Miltimore Street for over 35 years.

Fortunately, Millie went on to Alvernia University and pursued a successful career in banking. For the past three years, Millie has been working as the Business Development Officer at Visions. She is now directly linked to helping build a better foundation for future kids that will live on the block where she grew up.

Millie said, “I’m amazed by the changes. And as a Visions Employee I am so proud we could’ve been a part of that.” She went on to say that the area “definitely needed some love”.

Construction Foreman, Eric Mazur said, “The previous houses there were torn down long before our project started. Only a fenced-in, overgrow lot was left when Habitat purchased the Property.”

In place of this vacant overgrown lot, there will be eleven newly constructed homes. Which are currently under construction. While the kids soon to live in these may share similar memories to Millie, like playing throughout the neighborhood, and a fondness for the local train tracks, but there will be one significant difference. Their families will own the homes they live in.

Owning your home makes a difference!

Every parent wants a better future for their family. Research shows that home ownership is a pathway to a brighter future for generations to come. Children of homeowners have lower rates of teen pregnancy and are more likely to graduate high school and perform better. Children of home owners are also more likely go on to graduate college.

Our community partners are vital to our success. The work on Miltimore Street has only just started. There are still opportunities for you to get involved.  If your company would like to partner with us on the Miltimore Street project, please contact Eneida Powell at

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