Volunteers renovate Midlands man’s home in celebration of MLK Day


On Saturday, Home Works of America partnered with Midtown Fellowship and McGregor Presbyterian to provide free home repairs to two homes in the Midlands in honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King weekend celebration.

Over 50 volunteers worked at 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The nonprofit organization Home Works has been providing free home repairs in the Midlands and throughout the state for 20 years.

WIS’ Jenna Cisneros had the opportunity to meet one of the homeowners, Samuel Brown, who has lived in his downtown Columbia house for over 60 years.

With years of memories, Brown said he’s nervous to see the finished product but so grateful to have people give so much to a home that is his everything. His daughter said she was grateful and blessed after seeing the hard work volunteers put into the house.

“It was overwhelming to see so many people that were just so kind and grateful that just came together to help him”, Leshund Kennedy, Brown’s daughter said.

Brown is battling Parkinson’s disease and lives alone in his 60-year-old house.

From the inside to the outside of the home, local volunteers were busy working on Mr. Brown’s house on the chilly Saturday morning.

Joe Huggins, Executive Director Home Works of America said, “it takes probably about four to five weeks of prep time to inspect and get a grid- a scope of work together, to get things planned for the work days.”

According to their website, a typical homeowner assisted by Home Works of America is a 70-year-old widow, annually living on $12,000.

Home Works oversees various repair projects, ranging from the replacement of roofs to the construction of ramps, the gutting of bathrooms, the repairing of ceilings and the painting of walls. The organization works to create a context in which youth are mentored in life-skills.

Jack Lund, one of the volunteers said, “it drives me to do all the work that I do just to see them come home and to see that look on their face. It is the most incredible feeling.”

Nearly $5,000 was donated to repair Mr. Brown’s house.

If you’d like to donate, you can do so online, or by mailing in a check.

The next Columbia work day is set for Saturday, April 7.

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