June 12, 2021
The Comal County Home Repair Program covers repairs in three categories: Weatherization, Aging in Place, and A Brush With Kindness. Most of the projects our team works on fall under one of these categories but more and more we are coming across projects that span all three! We recently had the opportunity to sit down with a homeowner for one of these projects and talk about her experience.
Joanne didn’t know about the Comal Habitat Repair Program until she saw a flyer at the Westside Community Center. At first, she thought it was a mistake because Habitat builds houses, but then she decided to take a chance and call because she needed her house repaired.
“This had been a prayer of mine for years. I don’t know when it's gonna happen. I don't know how, but I know it's gonna happen. And when I saw that flyer there (at the Westside Community Center) I thought, there's my answer. There was my answered prayer.”
A majority of the work was completed on the exterior of the house. After removing the existing siding (including asbestos removal), removing and replacing the roof trim, leveling the foundation, replacing (11) original windows, and repairing brickwork. After all of this was complete, our construction team painted the entire exterior of the house.
“Deedee was patient with me because I did change my mind, I don't know how many times. Probably, three or four times, about the paint, I said ‘Don't buy it yet because I'm not sure yet I changed my mind again!’” Joanne explained. But we assured her, the number of times she changed her mind didn’t matter, the most important part of this project was that she was happy with the work.
The team also replaced several interior doors, as well as her exterior front and back doors. New light fixtures were installed by each of the exterior doors. Joanne explained how safety was a concern before these repairs were complete, “Before then, I was having trouble with the door because the house was not leveled. So, the door did not lock. So I had to push the sofa against the door at night. And I would put a bat, under the knob, just to feel safe, so that I could sleep comfortable because my door wouldn't, there were times when it would lock, times when it didn’t lock. Most of the time it didn't lock.”
At Habitat for Humanity we strive to build safe and affordable housing for those in our communities. Through the repair program, Joanne is now able to live in a safe home where she doesn’t have to worry about her front door locking, or drafty old windows. The program was able to do this work at an affordable cost to her through the use of grants and sponsorships from our generous donors.
“(When) one of the guys said that they were going to show up, they would show up. I felt very comfortable with all the guys, each and every one of them.” Joanne continued, “Tony was so kind, I said ‘Here's the key I'm gonna be home late today.’ and he will leave the light on for me. They went far beyond to make my home look very nice.”
If you know of someone in Comal County who is in need of repairs, please visit our website to review the program qualifications: https://www.comalhabitat.org/programs/home-repair-program.
If you would like to help those in our community obtain safe and affordable housing, please consider donating to Habitat for Humanity: https://www.comalhabitat.org/support-us/how-donate