As we move forward out of our COVID-19 shutdown and get back to our projects, I thought it would be a good time for an update.
When we decided to start our Critical Home Repair program we had no idea how it would go. We didn’t know how it would be received. We just plain didn’t know….. The program is designed to assist homeowners with necessary repairs that address health, safety, and structural needs. Also, to help keep people in their homes. The homes they own, love, and where their family memories were made. Since those first applications in June of 2017, we have completed 26 projects and have signed contracts with another 4, to be started soon. That’s 30!! Our first project was completed on Labor Day weekend of 2017.
When we started the Critical Home Repair program, we made a commitment to Habitat for Humanity International to do 1 a year, for 3 years. So…….we ended up doing 30. Haha. We see a great and necessary need for this program, and will continue to do what we can.
We’ve done projects that have cost $75 all the way up to $20,000. We’ve collaborated with other agencies to make some of the bigger ones happen. We’ve had great partnerships with several contractors and suppliers. And, obviously…..the volunteer support for the Repair program has been amazing.
One of the stats for our Repair program that we weren’t expecting, but has opened our eyes is: over 70% of our applications are from senior citizens in our county. And, a majority of those 70% are from single senior females. Most are widows. When we go through the application process with them, over and over again we discover that when their husbands passed, the household lost his Social Security and retirement, leaving her to live off of her $900 a month Social Security. It becomes an uphill battle for her to pay for all her necessary life items, as well as maintaining the maintenance of the home. Roofs begin to leak. Ceilings begin to fall in. Furnaces begin to malfunction and the winters are spent using dangerous space heaters, while sleeping in winter coats. We also see plumbing leaks that have cost the homeowner a lot of money in higher water bills.
We see our Critical Home Repair as being a necessary program with Putnam County Habitat for Humanity as we move forward into the future. If you’d like to help us sustain and grow this great program, please feel free to message us or call the office. We always need volunteers as well as donations. If you are considering a financial donation to Habitat, please keep in mind that we are responsible stewards of your gift. We attempt to stretch your contributions as far they can go. Our suppliers and contractors help us with that, as well.
Habitat for Humanity is a “hand up, not a hand out”.
–Matt Rau, Putnam Co (Ohio) Habitat for Humanity Facebook page