“Home for the holidays” is much more than a sentiment for parishioners of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, a dozen enthusiastic St. Matthew’s volunteers partnered with HomeFront to make substantial safety and energy efficiency repairs for three buildings operated by Open Doors in Norwalk as supportive and affordable housing.
Cold and persistent early winter rains were no match for the volunteers as they replaced three drafty windows, overhauled a large, rotting section of a front porch, installed a new storm door and added solid railings to a two-story exterior staircase.
In their 32nd year participating with HomeFront, St. Matthew’s is the longest-serving community group with the program.
Open Doors’ Erin McDonough, Director of Community Relations, was grateful for the volunteers’ assistance.
“Thanks so much to everyone at HomeFront and St. Matthew’s Wilton for coming out on a rainy day and making our affordable apartments a better home for the people who live there. The houses were built between 1890 and 1920, so we know there are always unique things to consider with each space. Everyone from the volunteer group was so kind and ready to tackle the projects,” she said.
St. Matthew’s ministry rounds out HomeFront’s Fall 2022 season of volunteer group projects on a high note with more than 11 low-income families and two community centers assisted. In total, this brings the program to the mark of 70 repair projects completed this year and more than 3,100 in program history.
HomeFront’s Board Chair Kenneth Wiegand said the need for the work HomeFront is doing is acute.
“In the face of growing demand for home repair aid and rising costs everywhere, it is gratifying this year to build back to the level of assistance we had been delivering prior to the pandemic. We are humbled by the volunteers and supporters who have stayed with our mission and look forward to future impact even greater than our pre-pandemic results,” Wiegand said.
In addition to the program’s Spring and Fall volunteer group events, HomeFront has ratcheted up assistance through a new year-round initiative called Critical Pro Repair (CPR). Through CPR, skilled HomeFront staff team up with one or two skilled volunteers to deliver crucial exterior repairs, such as wheelchair ramp installations, step and walkway overhauls and deck repairs to struggling families.
HomeFront is a community-based program dedicated to keeping low-income homeowners in their homes with an improved quality of life through substantial repairs completed at no cost to them. More information on HomeFront can be found online.
Open Doors strives to make a direct impact in the greater Norwalk area by guiding every person in the cycle of homelessness toward housing stability. More information on Open Doors can be found online.