Since its founding in 1979, Home Repair Services of Kent County has been passionately serving its community to help empower homeowners and keep them safe in their living situation. Now, over 40 years later, Home Repair Services of Kent County has served over 35,000 homeowners in the community.
Written by Meghan O'Brien
Each year, the UHM Foundation supports nonprofits with missions and programs around our four main pillars: housing, financial literacy, career readiness and education. Each of these areas, we believe, are essential building blocks to guiding families on a pathway to economic self-sufficiency. In total, the UHM Foundation has awarded more than $1M in our communities across the country. We are so proud to partner with these nonprofits and shed a light on the amazing work that they are doing. For this spotlight, we will review one of our newest grant partners, Home Repair Services of Kent County.
Since its founding in 1979, Home Repair Services of Kent County has been passionately serving its community to help empower homeowners and keep them safe in their living situation. Home Repair Services has roots within the faith community where local leaders saw a need to help with home repairs. From furnace tune-ups to building access ramps, the founders worked to help a variety of projects within the community. Now, over 40 years later, Home Repair Services of Kent County has served over 35,000 homeowners in the community.
Home repairs in Kent County are vital to the well-being of the community. Many organizations across the United States provide emergency repair services, but Home Repair Services differs in their approach. In addition to helping provide home repair aid, the organization values offering educational resources and opportunities for both current and future homeowners. Educational resources provided through group-based options and one-on-one counseling include:
- Housing Counseling and Education- Educational classes are taught to help homeowners explore a variety of financial literacy topics, some of which include foreclosure prevention, budgeting, fair credit, and Money Matters workshops.
- Fix It School- Free hands-on classes for community members to learn a variety of repair skills. Trained professionals teach these courses to demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to complete a remodeling or repair project.
- Home Maintenance Check-Ups- After purchasing a home, Kent County residents can have a free home inspection that will help them prioritize current and future home repair needs.
A major client of Home Repair Services is the aging populations in Kent County. Oftentimes, residents wish to stay in their own home that needs repair instead of opting to move to a safer or newer home. Home Repair Services allows these residents to age in place by providing repairs to their current home. When mobility becomes an issue, Home Repair Services helps make sure their clients are safe.
On the other hand, younger populations wish to remodel their homes on their own to help save money. Home Repair Services offers educational resources to help them complete the projects on their own. These resources allow homeowners with the knowledge to complete repairs and remodels at a lower cost than hiring a contractor to complete the project.
One main program that Home Repair Services offers is building access ramps for those with limited mobility. For example, one client moved into a mobile home park with her son that used a wheelchair. After moving into her new home, she realized that the stairs were a barrier to her son’s mobility when leaving home and getting on the school bus. She mentioned this issue to some of her friends who immediately told her about Home Repair Services of Kent County. Home Repair Services was able to quickly build this ramp since the project fell within their expertise. After 30 days of not being able to leave the house, this client and her son were now able to move around safely and without worry.
Moving into a new home or starting a renovation can be scary, but Home Repair Services of Kent County works to empower its clients through their programs. They have found that individuals who partake in different opportunities with Home Repair Services often pass their knowledge forward to help others. Through their services, Home Repair Services has worked to foster a vibrant community in Kent County.
Do you want to get involved with this nonprofit? Home Repair Services of Kent County welcomes volunteers to help them serve the community. Below are some of the volunteer opportunities currently offered:
- Building kitchen cabinets in the woodworking shop.
- Working in an administrative role, completing tasks including helping with social media or scheduling classes.
- Helping create access ramps for clients.
Volunteers can offer their time Mondays through Fridays either individually or with a corporate group. All volunteer efforts help Home Repair Services empower the local community to keep homeowners safe and well-equipped to take on home remodels.
The Union Home Mortgage Foundation is proud to support Home Repair Services of Kent County as a grant funding partner. We look forward to seeing the continued impact that Home Repair Services makes in the Kent County community!