Enquirer Herald

Three York residents get a 'brush with kindness'

Sadie and Johnny Boyd Burris needed some repair work done at their York home, but living on a fixed income made it difficult. Habitat for Humanity of York County stepped in and made it possible.

“I’m glad they were able to do it,” said Burris, 66, who lives on York’s Magnolia Street. Habitat volunteers put in a new patio door to replace one that was damaged, and also did some concrete work on her driveway, she said.

Volunteers from four area churches recently did repair work at the Burris home and two others as part of Habitat’s Brush with Kindness program, which helps residents improve the homes they already own.

The project took on repairs at two Magnolia Street homes and one on Washington Street, said Tim Veeck, the agency’s executive director. Veeck said the project was the York County affiliate’s first forage into the realm of home rehabilitation, a growing focus of Habitat.

Veeck said Habitat can serve more families at a lower overall cost by doing home rehabilitation projects. And, he said, there’s a large need for rehabilitation, which can prevent people from losing their homes.

Pearline Thomasson, 91, owns the other Magnolia Street home that was part of the project. She said volunteers did some front porch repairs, underpinning, washed the house, did some painting and trimmed brush.

“I’m very happy with it,” she said. “They did real good work.”

Volunteers from four area churches pitched in to do the work. The churches are Allison Creek, Bowling Green and First Presbyterian churches and Trinity United Methodist Church, all in York.

Veeck said people in Western York County have expressed an interest in partnering with Habitat for such projects. Applicants were sought earlier this year during a neighborhood meeting in York.

The York County Habitat affiliate chose to limit itself to minor home repairs for its first forage into the area of home rehabilitation, he said, and each project had a budget of up to $2,500.

Veeck said Habitat plans to continue building new homes, and it budgeted to build three in the year ending in June. However, he said it also plans to do more housing rehabilitation.

“I can say, moving forward, that this will be a large part of our work,” he said.