Volunteer programs for free home repairs and modifications.

Several national and local organization provide free home repairs to vulnerable individuals or families. The non-profits, charities, and government agencies listed below help senior citizens as well as the disabled or very low income families update and/or repair their home for safety and health reasons. They may also do basic work, such as lawn maintenance, painting, and similar activities. The organizations may also help the sick, individuals with serious medical issues, the disabled and others repair their home for their health condition.

Note these volunteer based home repair programs are not offered everywhere, and there may be some minimal cost from the homeowner(s) or maybe the property owner has to meet some other criteria. The volunteers may do all types of free home repair work, depending on program and the charity. There may be assistance with exterior or interior painting, window work, plumbing, carpentry, fixing locks, caulking, minor electrical, ramps, lawn and outside work, and more. Note only are their free home modification or repair services, but volunteers will also go over safety concerns and reviews with the homeowner.

There are several assistance programs from various organizations. Volunteers may work with agencies including, but not limited to, Area Aging Agency, Rebuilding Together, Volunteers of America, Habitat for Humanity's home repair program, Medicaid partners, local churches, or even charities such as St. Vincent de Paul. Many volunteer groups were created to help people so they can age in place, including support for widows and widowers.

Place for volunteers for free home repairs

The first national resource is Habitat for Humanity's home repair program. This is intended to help keep a home, and even a community, safe. The program can also be used to ensure affordable housing in a town or county is kept “liveable”. As if an house is falling down or in disrepair, then a low income family or one living in poverty will not want to live in the property.

 

 

 

 

Volunteers partner with Habitat for Humanity as well as some part or full time contractors from the non-profit. All of the repair work they do is free of charge. The program also relies on donations of supplies from the community, including stores like Target, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowes and others. The work done is minor, and may include free weatherization energy improvements, landscaping, painting, minor repair work like plumbing, and similar work. Read more here. https://www.habitat.org/.

Agency on Aging offices focus on senior citizens, retirees and the disabled. These are non-profit organization that may not only have volunteer activities that help with free home repairs, but they also offer many other social services. There may be applications to Medicaid, grants for buying a home or low interest loans to pay for repairs, Meals on Wheels for the Homebound, Ombudsman programs, and more. Free volunteer home repair programs are combined with many other forms of assistance. Find a local Agency on Aging assistance program.

Interest free loans can help pay for home repairs too. They are from HUD (Housing and Urban Development) as well as community actions. While not volunteer driven groups, the free loans can be an option for fixing emergency safety concerns in a home, including HVAC concerns, installation of wheelchair ramps, a leaking roof, grab bars in a bathroom or bedroom, handrails and more.

Rebuilding Together is a volunteer driven group that helps rebuild homes impacted by a natural disaster (hurricane, flood, tornado, etc.) and they also operate year round to help the low income and poor. Volunteers that are part of Rebuilding Together (over 200,000 people) may repair a roof for free, help a veteran get into a new or better home, do paining work or minor maintenance repairs. Donations and other community support keeps this group operating. Call 1-800-473-4229 for information on local centers.

 

 

 

 

Free volunteer repair programs may also rely on government aid, including Medicaid Home Care and Community Based Assistance Services. The volunteers may be paid for, or get free durable equipment/funding from grants from Medicaid, that are a form of financial aid. The resources will also help the elderly, disabled, and vulnerable live in their current home vs. nursing care. Some of the home modification equipment that volunteers can install may include toilet safety frame, hospital beds, Kidney dialysis machines, bath transfer bench, walkers, wheelchair ramps, and more.

Veterans that need home repairs done (or even repairs to appliances including heaters or AC units) can contact Operation Homefront. Members and businesses in the community donate the tools, new appliances, and “volunteer hours” to help the veteran and their family deal with any challenges in their housing situation.

Another federal government funded home repair and modification service for the mentally or physically disabled is known as Disability Home Care Assistance. The goal is to keep their residence safe and accessible so the person does not need to live in supportive housing or some other facility. The service combines both volunteers and government grant based aid. It combines everything from case management to services such as food or free meal deliveries, installation of safety measures in the house and much more.

VOA, also known as Volunteers of America, is a charitable organization that has hundreds of locations and tens of thousands of volunteers. They perform a number of activities for low income families, immigrants, the homeless and others. One that may be offered includes free repairs to a home, condo, townhome, apartment, or other housing unit.

The charitable VOA also does so much more. They serve meals, provide rides to the elderly or disabled, shelter, and more. The repairs demand on both volunteers and material from the community, whether it is a bucket of paint, a local plumber donating their time for free, electricians, and other support. Find more details on VOA assistance programs.

 

 

 

Volunteers from churches may help members of the parish by doing free minor house type work. Examples may be raking leaves, doing some painting, moving furniture, or minor plumbing or carpentry work. This will depend on the local parish, but it may be a option that can help a low income family with some repair type work around their home. Read more and find help from churches.

By Jon McNamara

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