COUNT Y LINE
Volunteers donate their time, energy and expertise to help local seniors.
HEARTS FOR HOMES
he dream of homeownership can turn into a nightmare for low-income senior citizens who lack the funds to keep up with home maintenance and repairs. In 2006, Susan Frank founded Hearts for Homes (H4H) to help with this problem. The nonprofit Christian outreach organization helps keep Denton County seniors’ abodes safe, secure and comfortable by providing free repairs and necessary construction. Changing Lives When it comes to seniors, “Everyone tends to think that they [own] a home, so they’re good to go. The problem is their income is not good to go,” explained Frank, who left her longtime administration, teaching and coaching positions at Argyle’s Liberty Christian School to start H4H using $1,000 in seed money and her own tools. H4H relies heavily on donated dollars and equipment, referrals from local social-service agencies and individuals and the work of dedicated
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volunteers — including more than 1,000 skilled repair professionals, community-service group members and citizens from throughout North Texas. Together, they make all sorts of repairs, from fixing faulty heating and air-conditioning systems and replacing leaky roofs to unclogging toilets, for seniors aged 60 and older who meet the qualifications for assistance. This year alone, 10 roof repairs/ replacements were completed by April. H4H made a difference in more than 80 seniors’ lives in 2018, allowing them to live with dignity in their own well-maintained homes. Ann’s Story Frank says extensive repairs were recently completed for Ann, an 81-year-old Denton resident who still resides in the home where she grew up. After leaking for months, a water heater had fallen through the floor of her mildew-infested house. “The first thing we did was remedy that,” Frank explains.
From painting to plumbing to roof repairs, H4H tackles a wide array of maintenance tasks.
H4H also removed and replaced the kitchen floor and plumbing, all of the home’s floor joists, its crumbling front porch and an interior wall that was “barely standing,” among other items to make the home that her father built safe and livable. After learning that Ann had fallen several times and suffered a concussion while stepping out of the bathtub, volunteers replaced it with a shower for safer access. Even after repairs are complete, H4H maintains contact with its clients and will return to make additional repairs for as long as they live in the home. “It gives them a huge peace of mind. ... They know they can pick up the phone and call us,” Frank says. You Can Help Like most nonprofits, H4H is always in need of additional funds and volunteers to work at homes as well as on special events and marketing efforts at its office on East McKinney Street in Denton. For more information, visit heartsforhomes.org.
Photos courtesy of Hearts for Homes
Low-income seniors in Denton County get a vital helping hand from this nonprofit and its more than 1,000 volunteers. BY LISA FERGUSON