A few months ago St. John’s agreed to team up with Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity in a new project known as Powell Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, or PNRI. Megan Nickles approached St. John’s Outreach Committee about this project. We all concurred that this would be purpose-filled work for the Outreach Committee to help Powell residents improve the exterior of their homes and make other needed repairs for safety and comfort. Our goal is to help home-owners preserve their homes and revitalize their neighborhoods. Habitat/St. John’s will provide a list of work needed and a financial estimate. Because we work with volunteers and sponsors we expect our estimates to be affordable. Habitat offers non-interest bearing loans for up to five years.
We have identified homes that appear to need exterior work, such as paint, safer entrances and yard repair. This week we mailed letters to identified home-owners, inviting them to attend a meeting at St. John’s on Saturday morning, September 19th, at 10:00 a.m. We hope a number of those receiving letters will attend this meeting and complete applications. Our next step would be to schedule visits with the interested applicants at their homes to decide what work needs to be done, including details and timelines for accomplishing the work.
We have already started on our first project, a home on the corner of Division and Avenue E, where a single mother and her four children live. Due to financial constraints, a broken sprinkler system had not been repaired or replaced. Megan assured us that Steve was a mechanical genius and could most likely repair the pump. So, on Steve’s last trip home, he fixed and installed the pump, repaired the sprinklers and saved Habitat/St. John’s approximately $400. Thank you, Steve!
Our next job at that house is to remove weeds, take out a dead tree, repair a walkway and plant seed or lay sod. Volunteers are welcome. Just let Genny Bettger, Bridget Andersen, Sue Woods, Megan Nickles or Carra Wetzel know what you can do and are willing to do.
PNRI is a challenging undertaking, and an exciting one. Helping make owner-occupied homes safe and attractive is good for the home owner, good for Powell and a wonderful way for St. John’s to reach out into our community.
As Thomas Merton wrote: “May we come to know the Christ who is in us when we love and serve one another in true brotherhood, when we realize that we are not our brother’s keeper but our brother’s brother.”