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Kathleen’s Success Story: Her house finally feels like home

Ideally, your home should be more than a house. We cultivate home as a place of refuge to keep belonging, seek security, and create memories. For those living in poverty, home may have a different connotation, with the worry of meeting basic needs like utility costs, food, and clothing limiting the joy of home. Home maintenance is an extra expense most low-income families are unable to afford. Unsafe living conditions can lead to poorer health and an increased financial burden.

For 61-year-old Kathleen, an Avery County resident, life has been far from idyllic. Kathleen, the primary caretaker for a disabled daughter, suffers from numerous health issues. Her home had broken windows, damaged floors, and doors, but her limited income did not allow for needed home repairs. She contacted W.A.M.Y for home renovations.

WAMY Community Action serves low-income families in Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties. Kathleen qualified for services provided under the agency’s weatherization and housing program is to make homes safer and more energy efficient. A healthy home is the first step in preventing injury or illness. Home repairs and energy upgrades equal better health outcomes for clients.

A full assessment of the required repairs revealed the need for a larger budget than allowed by the weatherization program. WAMY utilized additional funding through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Healthy Home Initiative, the Housing Preservation Grant (HPG), and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to complete the project. Replacement of windows, deck steps, front door, back door, and storm door totaled nearly $10,000. With the support of each partner, Kathleen did not pay any out-of-pocket costs. She appreciates the efforts of WAMY to make her home safer.

Learn more about the WAMY Housing and Weatherization program.

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