Jubilee Park Feels Like Home
The holiday season is a time when we all think of home: our traditions, our pastimes, and our families. Images of Thanksgiving and Christmas show us families safe and sound, celebrating the grace of being together.
Since founding Jubilee in 1997, Saint Michael parishioners have made a huge difference in helping families stay safe and sound. You may have heard about Jubilee’s work in education and nutrition, but did you know that the Housing Initiative at Jubilee has helped increase homeownership in Southeast Dallas by 50% over the past ten years? Parishioners Tom Harbison, Bob Axley, Joseph Cahoon, Chuck Hansen, David Martin, Jerry Poglitsch, Arden Showalter, Nancy Shutt, Kathryn Sargent, Keller Webster, and more have truly catalyzed a new sense of home for families working hard to build their lives through the Housing Task Force.
This year, the Housing Task Force piloted a repair program for elderly neighbors in Jubilee Park who own their homes but cannot afford to make much-needed repairs. The volunteers were stunned by the condition of many of the candidates—imagine a couple who have worked their entire lives and paid off their family home trying to navigate rotting floors, non-existing ceilings, plastic bags over windows, and inaccessible bathrooms. Some elderly neighbors shared that they had to take ‘sink baths’ to clean themselves because of how inaccessible their bathrooms are.
One example is Ms. Toni’s home, where the lady of the house couldn’t enter her bathroom or even get to her sink because the door and walkway could not accommodate her wheelchair. Volunteers assessed the situation, budgeted improvements to make it possible for Ms. Toni to bathe herself and access the sink, and started shopping for deals on the refurbishment.
The roll-in shower, accessible toilet, shallower cabinet, and wider doorframe have done wonders for Ms. Toni’s quality of life. A spirited woman of great faith, Ms. Toni sees the work of angels in her new bathroom.
Just like Ms. Toni’s bathroom, the Housing Task Force has set to work fixing wheelchair ramps, repairing broken floors, installing donated air conditioners, and much more. It’s a heartwarming feeling to know that volunteer time, expertise, and energy can go such a long way in making someone’s home that much safer and healthier during this season of celebrations.
Up next for the Housing Task Force is more education for homeowners on property taxes and home maintenance, as well as a possible partnership with the city to support more home repairs across Southeast Dallas. For more information or to get involved, contact Ben Leal at 214-887-1364 or [email protected].
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