• HRM

Volunteers band together to help disabled single mom


“We all have our own journey, and we don’t know what life’s going to throw at us,” said homeowner Karen. 


It’s a lesson she learned firsthand. Karen left her abusive husband in the 1990s when her daughter was four years old. She raised her daughter as a single mom on the meager salary she earned as a DFCS supervisor. 


She loved her career serving families in need and planned to work there until retirement. However, her car was struck by a semi-trailer truck, disabling her and forcing her to leave the workforce much earlier in life than she expected. 


At that time, her father began helping her with projects around the house she’s owned since 1995. Now that he’s 78 years old, he cannot climb ladders or complete as many tasks as he’d like. When her most recent string of home issues surfaced, Karen wasn’t sure who to ask for help with the labor. The cost was an issue, too. Since she’s unable to work, she doesn’t have flexibility in her budget for unexpected expenses.


The gutter had fallen off the front of her home, her back door was rotting and her water heater had overflowed, ruining hardwood flooring. Rodents were entering the house through the gaps around the rotted door. A neighbor called the county ordinance office to report Karen’s property violations. 


“I had no options,” Karen said. When she worked for DFCS, one of her jobs was maintaining a list of community resources to help those in need. Now she was on the other end of the conversation – the one seeking assistance. 


Thankfully, when she called 211 for a referral, she was connected to Home Repairs. Karen gave Mark Wolfe, Home Repairs’ Executive Director, a call.


“He was so kind and said that they could do it, but then COVID hit,” she explained. Mark told her he would be there as soon it was deemed safe for the team. A couple of months later, he called and said they were ready to get to work. 

Karen was blown away by the kindness and skill of the volunteers. In particular, she enjoyed watching more experienced volunteers teaching less experienced ones on the job.


“Everything they did was top notch and very professional,” she said. “I had a super experience with them, and I recommend it 110 percent!” Karen was relieved to have her home protected from further damage and also to avoid fines from potential ordinance violations. 


“Not only are they very efficient, but they really have hearts to help people. I am so grateful.”
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