Boonslick Habitat for Humanity President Travis Stover said the local chapter is beginning a new housing repair program called A Brush With Kindness, which is a nation-wide program serving low income homeowners who struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes.
Stover said while Boonslick Habitat for Humanity has built a total of 11 homes, eight in Boonville, two in Fayette and one in Bunceton, the A Brush With Kindness program focuses primarily on exterior home repair services such as painting, window replacement, building wheelchair ramps, minor exterior repairs including gutters and roofing, landscaping, and exterior clean-up. He said groups of volunteers work to revitalize a home's exterior.
Of course to be affiliated with the program, Stover said Boonslick Habitat for Humanity first had to apply to habitat international to be certified to do A Brush With Kindness.
"It took us several months to get certified," Stover said. "We are currently training our board members right now in 2-3 hour sessions. "ABWK is meant to serve as a companion to BHFH core building program which enables us to serve more families, increase opportunities for volunteers and expand our base of sponsors. The hope is that ABWK services will help revitalize the appearance of Boonville neighborhoods, strengthen BHFH connections within the community, and help preserve affordable housing stock. Habitat's A Brush With Kindness is part of their larger Neighborhood Revitalization initiative. This initiative gives us a great opportunity to help more families in need, as well as have an impact on the entire neighborhood. Helping people repair and maintain their homes fits in seamlessly with Habitat's core mission of making decent, affordable housing available to low income families."
Stover said the ABWK program serves low income homeowners who are selected based on: need, ability to play and willingness to partner. Stover went on to say that payments by the partner family are placed in a revolving fund to help habitat for humanity's ABWK serves others in need.
Since it's founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide. Meanwhile, since its creation in 1999, the ABWK program has served more than 60,000 families worldwide.
Stover said to qualify for ABWK, applicants must own their home and in need to help fix it up. They also have to be cost burdened as a homeowner, he said. "They will also have to verify their monthly income, have not filed for bankruptcy within the past 18 months and let BHFH run a credit check to verify debt history and credit issues," Stover said.
And then last but not least, Stover said the family will be committed to completing the required sweat equity.
Those interested in ABWK can pick up an application at boonslickhabitat.org. Return completed applications to P.O. Box 123, Boonville att: FSC, or e-mail Boonslickhabitat@gmail.com for more information.
The BHFH also held its annual scavenger hunt, dinner and silent auction back in August at Isle Capri Hotel and Casino in Boonville, with over 100 participants. Stover said over $3,000 was raised from the event with proceeds going to A Brush With Kindness.