Free Home Repairs Helping Homeowners Across Upstate - WSPA.com

Free Home Repairs Helping Homeowners Across Upstate

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GAFFNEY, S.C. -

For a chance to finally fix his leaky roof, Terry Wilkie doesn't mind all the noise that comes with it.

"Very excited, that's amazing," said Terry, watching a group of volunteers at work. "God works in mysterious ways."

His home is one of more than 30 projects on the repair list this year through the Jerusalem Project. About 650 volunteers from more than 30 churches in Cherokee County are doing repair work for homeowners who can't afford to do it themselves.

"The help's available and sometimes they're just not aware of that," said Mary Byars, a project organizer.

She says the need is constant.

Now in its 10th year, the Jerusalem Project has expanded to Union, Chesnee and Spartanburg. Once it completes this week's projects, it will begin the application process for next year. To apply, click here.

In Anderson County, there are 120 people on the waiting list for its free home repair program paid for through grant money. Since 2008, Planning Director Bill West says they've completed 65 projects at an average cost of $28,000 in repairs per home. There's been such a big response from homeowners, West says they won't be able to take in any more applications until they get through the current waiting list.

In Greenville County, the Emergency Repair Fund through the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority serves elderly or disabled homeowners, 62 and older. Since last July, GCRA has helped 59 homeowners with repairs. For more information, click here.

Byars says the work is well worth it, once you see the homeowner's reaction.

"A roof is a big project but you have the same response if somebody's painting or cutting branches down so that they can get to their door," said Byars. "The blessing is all ours. It's so, so overwhelming."

That's because for the homeowners, it's so much more than a repair.

"It's incredible," said Terry as he wiped away tears, "Incredible."

We also spoke with organizers of Christmas In Action. It helps with home repairs in Spartanburg County and City and is now taking applications.

You can also dial 211. That's a statewide service that can help direct you to the right agency in your area.

 

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Tracey Early
Tracey co-anchors the 5:30 and 7 p.m. newscasts and is a general assignment reporter.
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