James traveled every day for 40 years delivering propane throughout York County. An unknown infection took his foot, his livelihood, and his independence last year. Since then he has been confined to his home because he cannot get a wheelchair down the steps of his front porch. At 61 years old, James relies 100% on his Social Security income, making paying to construct a ramp impossible.
James reached out to Servants, Inc., a nonprofit based in Red Lion. Through their Home Helps Program, Servants provides home repairs and maintenance services for York County homeowners with financial need. Nearly 80 percent of these homeowners are older adults who need repairs they cannot afford to be able to live independently and safely in their homes.
The home repairs are done by a group of volunteers, ranging in age and skill levels, and led by the Home Helps Manager, and a parttime Home Helps Administrative Coordinator, whose positions were made possible by a grant from YCCF’s Hahn Home Fund for Embracing Aging. In 2017, with another Hahn Home grant, additional construction coordinators are being hired to manage more volunteers and reduce the long list of older adults waiting for repairs.
Homeowners aren’t the only ones benefiting from the program. The majority of the organization’s volunteers are over the age of 50. They embrace the opportunity to apply their skills and life lessons to help neighbors in need, while learning new talents and creating relationships with peers.
In addition to completing the repairs, staff and volunteers nurture relationships with the homeowners, by bringing packed lunches and sharing meals and conversation with the homeowners. It’s a good a reminder to the owners that someone cares about their safety and well-being. Servants also connects the homeowners with other area services, like financial counseling programs, to help them stay safely in their own homes.
For homeowners like James, having a solid wheelchair ramp and the ability to safely enter and exit his home is life-changing.
OF PARTNERSHIP WITH A
NONPROFIT, AS WE SEEK TO
INCREASE THE CAPACITY OF
HIGH-QUALITY PROGRAMS THAT
HAVE A LASTING IMPACT.