The Habitat for Humanity of Castle Country (HFHCC) has been in the area since 1989. A program created by HFHCC, A Brush With Kindness (ABWK), began in November 2013.
ABWK is an ongoing project with a positive goal: to eliminate substandard, inadequate and unhealthy living conditions for the citizens of Carbon and Emery counties by fixing housing conditions with staff and volunteers of the program.
Families that qualify as low-income, elderly, veterans and those that have disabilities are the focus of the program. Many times, clients of ABWK meet more than one of the qualifications. HFHCC provides the materials and labor for the house upfront with partner families paying back the cost of the project through a zero-interest, affordable monthly payment.
The payments are then taken and put into a revolving construction fund that is earmarked for future home repair projects through ABWK. Once an application is received, the project is completed, on average, in ten days. Since the program began on 2013, 24 projects have been completed. Also, direct help has been given to 40 individuals and $14,472 has been invested in Carbon and Emery counties. Through ABWK, HFHCC provides a “hand up, not a handout.”
Typical projects that are completed through ABWK include fixing leaking roofs, installing storm doors, handrails and ramps for accessibility, replacing windows as well as general landscaping. ABWK focuses on the exterior of the house.
Recent research has been conducted by HFHCC about housing in Carbon and Emery counties. What was discovered is that an average of 44% of housing was built before 1950 and over 25% of residents are age 62 or older. Not surprisingly, as a house gets older, there is a higher probability that it will need repairs. Subsequently, as the population rises in age, a resident is less likely to complete the repairs on their own. That is where ABWK is able to come in and assist.
To learn more about A Brush With Kindness, visit habitatcastlecountry.org/abwk/. ABWK is always accepting and searching for applications, especially as the weather continues to get warmer. Currently, there are four projects scheduled for this year, but the program hopes to complete 18 in total for 2016.
If you are interested in the program or would like to volunteer, please contact Katie Anderson with HFHCC at (435) 564-3330. Anderson can also be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.