Habitat for Humanity Program Fixes Existing Homes

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

VERONA, Va –- When most people find a small leak in their house, and they are like Marcia Geil, they call a plumber and have it repaired. Geil had to make those calls several times until a big pipe burst.

“It was like a nightmare,” said Geil. “In the middle of the night, we woke up to this noise of gushing water. It was like somebody turned on a fire hydrant.”

The problem was caused by a quest pipe, which was recalled in the 1990s. It can get brittle, and oftentimes that causes it to burst. Because of her situation, Geil could not afford to have her entire home fitted with new pipe.

“My neighbor up the road, which I hadn't seen for a long time, said, well you should check with Habitat and see if they can't help you.”

A new Habitat for Humanity program, called A Brush with Kindness, offers aid to families who do not quite qualify for charity but cannot afford costly repairs. Barbi Moon-Theado is a program supporter for A Brush with Kindness and she described why it is better for low-income families to fix houses they already own rather than build new ones.

“Land is more expensive. It's less available,” said Moon-Theado. “To continue to serve low-income people, we help them with their existing homes that they own, when they need minor repair or major repair.”

The Brush with Kindness program takes care of the repair costs, making them cheaper with the help of volunteer labor. The homeowner is responsible for paying it back over time, but Geil was not worried about that.

“I would have just let it foreclose and lost the home,” said Geil. “That would have happened for sure. I am so thankful that I found them because they do absolutely wonderful things for people.”

You can find out more about Brush with Kindness in Augusta County here:  Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Brush with Kindness

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