Volunteers From Two Darien Churches Help Improve Homes For Low-Income People

Deirdre Crouch Talmadge Hill Community Church

Photo by HomeFront

Talmadge Hill Community Church member, Deirdre Crouch, freshening up the front of the home.

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Volunteers from two faith communities in Darien proved that positive community work and COVID-19 compliance can go hand in rubber glove.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Talmadge Hill Community Church joined 10 other groups revitalizing 12 low-income homes across the state during this year’s re-scheduled HomeFront Day on Sept. 12.

— an announcement from HomeFront

Community helpers focused exclusively on exterior repairs, addressing dangerous steps and walkways, rotting decks, yard cleanups and homes long overdue for fresh coats of paint.

The local nonprofit, HomeFront, provided N-95 dust masks, rubber gloves, goggles, work gloves and hand sanitizers for all participating volunteers.

By the end of the day, persons with disabilities, older adults, single-parent households and low-income families benefited from the work of these socially distanced Samaritans.

Talmadge Hill Community Church Project

Volunteers from Talmadge Hill Community Church turned out to assist a single mom in Bridgeport and her 10 year-old daughter.

The home of this young family was confronted with drafty windows, a hazardous deck, and a yard cluttered with unwanted items and overgrowth. In their 18th year of participation with HomeFront, Talmadge Hill Community volunteers eliminated all of these worries for this deserving family.

St. Luke’s Parish Project
Beverley Kelsey volunteer St. Luke's

Photo from HomeFront

St. Luke’s parishioner Beverley Kelsey tackles long-deferred maintenance long for a deserving family in Norwalk.

Extending a tradition into their 27th year, volunteers from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church came to the aid of Ronald, a veteran in Norwalk and his wife, Mary. Weeks of planning culminated in a dramatic transformation.

St. Luke’s volunteers rehabilitated a dangerous back deck, addressed a rotting entry door, replaced a window, installed new exterior lighting, cleaned up and landscaped the yard and completed a full exterior scrape and paint job.

The generosity of The Home Depot Foundation has equipped HomeFront with the resources to build on the volunteers’ work by installing a new roof, as well as tackling repairs to the interior.

Since 2011, the foundation has invested nearly $350 million in veteran causes and improved more than 47,000 veteran homes and facilities in 4,500 cities. In 2018, the Foundation pledged an additional $250 million to veteran causes taking the total commitment to half a billion by 2025.

This Year’s Safer at Home Campaign

This outpouring is all part of HomeFront’s “Safer at Home” campaign to improve living conditions for 60 local families this year who are directly or indirectly in the crosshairs of the pandemic whether through susceptibility to the illness or loss of employment.

COVID-19 required cancellation of HomeFront Day this past May for the first time in 32 years. Local outcry for help with repairs has only multiplied since then.

In the words of HomeFront’s Board Chair, Kenneth Wiegand, “‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ has been a familiar directive for all of us, but it has a slightly different meaning for the low-income families whose very homes are in hazardous, unhealthy shape.

“Our ‘Safer at Home’ commitment means bringing relief to those hurt by the first wave of this pandemic and improving the homes of those most at risk for future outbreaks.”

More About the Safer at Home Campaign

This modified approach to volunteer home repair is the second installment of HomeFront’s Safer at Home campaign. Since March, more than 27 local families have already received essential construction aid from HomeFront through its Critical Pro Repair (CPR) initiative.

Skilled HomeFront staff have teamed up with one or two pro volunteers to deliver crucial exterior repairs, such as wheelchair ramp installations, step and walkway overhauls and deck repairs to struggling families.

The collective compassion of hands on volunteers, product contributors, foundations and other donors brings HomeFront to the mark of more than 3,000 homes revitalized in program history, delivering $50 million of service where needed most.

More About HomeFront

HomeFront is a community-based program dedicated to keeping low-income homeowners in their homes with an improved quality of life through substantial repairs completed at no cost to them.

More information on HomeFront can be found online at: www.homefrontprogram.org.

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