By Nour Habib, Marketing Specialist
The work our partners do impacts the everyday people of this region. Recently, Southwestern Community Services’ Chief Operating Officer, Beth Daniels, shared a story with MUW about how their Weatherization Assistance Program changed the lives of one area family.
Savannah and Jason live with their young daughter in Keene. Jason works full-time, and the family has years of good landlord references and worked hard to build some credit history. They worked hard to position themselves well, despite living on a very limited income, Beth said. But when their furnace was “red-tagged” for health and safety reasons, the family could not afford to repair or replace it. So they called SCS, and qualified for the weatherization program.
But when contractors arrived at Savannah and Jason’s mobile home, they uncovered significant health and safety hazards throughout the home, caused by hidden water damage to the roof, walls, floor and structural supports. The cost of performing mold remediation and solving structural issues was likely to be higher than the cost of a new home, Beth said.
But the Weatherization Program was able to utilize funding from MUW to remove and demolish the mobile home. Other SCS programs then helped relocate the family into safe and affordable housing.
After the family was relocated, SCS made a check-in call. Savannah told them she and her family had settled in and were grateful for the help they received. “The best part, I can finally breathe,” Savannah said. “Since moving into the apartment, I have not had to use the breathing treatments I needed every day.” Savannah said she now believes the initial no-heat call was a blessing in disguise.
Beth said the services provided to the family would not have been possible without the funding received from the Monadnock United Way to bridge the gaps between available funding and unusual but legitimate situations that SCS sometimes faces.