A Safe Place to Call Home

During the pandemic that kept many people—especially the elderly—housebound for over a year, safe housing became more important than ever.

When Kenneth Hayes found himself spending more time at home than usual, he knew it was time to finally make his home of almost 30 years a safe place to live.

Before the house belonged to Kenneth, it belonged to his aunt and uncle. Kenneth was the only one of their nephews who frequently came by to visit and check on them. When his aunt passed away in 1992, Kenneth moved in to care for his uncle, who was around 100 years old. A few years after Kenneth moved in, his uncle passed away, and he has lived alone in the house ever since.

“I can breathe again.”

While Kenneth has many good memories of spending time at the house with his uncle and aunt, he also watched it become more and more dilapidated over the years. “When I was younger, I could do things,” he says, but at 70, he felt overwhelmed by the accumulating issues. The bathroom ceiling collapsed. The siding was damaged. The back porch was unsafe to walk on. Eventually, his homeowner’s insurance was canceled due to the home’s condition.

For 15 years, Kenneth couldn’t leave home when it rained because he had to push a trash can under his leaking roof and empty it before the floor flooded. From holes in the floor and roof to broken pipes, the house was full of dangerous problems, and he felt like there was nothing he could do about it. Now, thanks to our Major Rehabilitation program, he says, “I can breathe again.”

TAP staff worked with the insurance company and got them to cover the repair period. With that protection in place, the improvements started.

When Lee Lovern, our construction manager, surveyed Kenneth’s house, he noticed an immediate danger: a broken pipe was leaking carbon monoxide into the basement. He fixed the pipe right away and installed a carbon monoxide detector. Over the next two months, the program completed all the major repairs that the house needed, including fixing the floor, siding, and roof. The total repair cost was $88,500.

“You don’t have to look back.”

The repairs were a major relief for Kenneth. “I don’t think I could have made it another year like I’d been making it the past 15 years.” When your house is in bad shape, he says, “weather can shut you down.” He’s glad not to have to worry about rain anymore.

Now that TAP has helped Kenneth get the major repairs out of the way, he can work on his own projects around the house. Lately he’s been painting the hallway, his bedroom, and the bedroom where his great-grandkids stay when they come to visit.

He recommends TAP to anyone who needs house repairs to keep them safe. Once the major problems are fixed, he says, “you don’t have to look back.”