Four Clarke Square residences were rehabbed recently at no cost to homeowners as Habitat for Humanity’s “A Brush With Kindness” program (ABWK) made its way to the neighborhood for the third year in a row.
“We’re fixing up homes in the area, all needing a varying degree of repairs ranging from paint, new windows, security doors to roofing and other projects,” said ABWK project coordinator, Aaron Helt, 27, as his crew members gathered materials for a porch they’re building.
Helt, who’s been working with Habitat for Humanity for three years, says the group typically has a crew of about 60 volunteers for the projects, which take a week to complete.
The program, funded by the Zilber Family Foundation and the Margaret S. Chester Revocable Trust with paint donated by the Valspar Corporation, helps bring homes up to code by providing home improvements and repairs at no cost, according to Habitat for Humanity’s website.
To be eligible, residents must be low-income homeowners, and live within the boundaries of the Lindsay Heights, Harambee, Clarke Square or Layton Boulevard West neighborhoods.
According to Philip Cauble, 23, who moved to Milwaukee from Atlanta as an AmeriCorps volunteer placed with Habitat for Humanity,” We’re saving the homeowners about $4,000 each in repair work.”
After receiving a referral from Journey House, the ABWK crew shows up at the chosen home, prepared to knock out repairs from an ample to-do list.
Wendy Rosales, 60, was one of the homeowners chosen this year. Rosales, who is disabled, says that she’s grateful to the volunteers for coming in and doing the work she’s physically unable to do. Along with painting her porch, the crews are repairing her gutters and installing new windows, according to Rosales.
“I’m ecstatic that these men are here doing me such a huge favor,” Rosales said.