Brotherly Love: Fixing Chester County Houses
By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chester County is one of the highest-income counties in the United States, but there are thousands of low-income people there, too.
Volunteers there are fixing houses owned by the poor.
Jerry Hoekzema showed us a bay window “rotted out, and the windows were all bad.” He and his team came to fix it, framing a brand-new window.
“With that, hopefully we’ll fit the window in and it will fit,” Hoekzema said.
Hoekzema is a volunteer for Good Works Inc., a non-profit repairing the homes of low-income Chester County residents. Their clients’ average income is $19,000 a year.
“The repairs, if they were going to pay for it themselves, would be $15,000 to $20,000,” said Good Works Inc. director Jim Ford.
But for these residents, it’s free.
The floor of Gail Bell’s mobile home sagged from water damage until Good Works stepped in a few months ago to fix it.
“They ripped it all up. Then they put the hardwoods on there, which look absolutely beautiful,” Bell said.
Chuck Sipes, one of several corporate volunteers from Siemens, recoated Gail’s roof.
“This roof here really needed it bad,” Sipes said. “If applied properly, should last 20 years.”
Volunteers also painted Gail’s bedroom, giving her a nice place to come home to after a long day’s work.
“They gave me my life back,” she said.
WIth an annual budget of more than $1.3 million, Good Works Inc. helped more than 180 families last year.
“You see the look on their faces. It really does make it worthwhile,” Sipes said.
To apply to Good Works Inc. or to donate your money, time or talent, visit: www.goodworksinc.org