Habitat for Humanity Volunteers Repair Homes for Older Adults

Organization working on six homes this week in the Two Harbors area

TWO HARBORS, Minn. – Habitat for Humanity is repairing six houses in the Two Harbors area. It’s part of the organization’s Age in Place program, which helps older adults stay in their homes.

The sounds of power tools and demolition pierce through a quiet Two Harbors morning as volunteers remove the old front porch from Cheryl Sundstrom’s house.

“So when I looked out the window, there was this big, gaping hole that used to be a porch and they just work so quickly, it was like gone,” said Sundstrom.

The old porch was sagging and had holes in it, making it hard for Sundstrom to use her front door.

“My mailbox is in the front, so I still had to step out on it every day,” she explained.

Soon, there will be a brand new porch, which Sundstrom says will help her stay in her own home for years to come.

“I’m so appreciative for the volunteers to do this because I never would have gotten it done otherwise,” said Sundstrom.

Hers is one of six homes in the Two Harbors area that Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity is working on as part of their Age in Place program.

“A thousand dollars spent on repairs saves about seven thousand bucks on average of Medicare costs,” said Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, David Clanaugh.

Age in Place works with older adults on safely maintaining their houses as their needs change.

“It would have been cost prohibitive for me, I don’t have a support system for labor like that that could assist me in doing it myself,” said Sundstrom.

Several local companies volunteer their staff to help with the project. Two Harbors-based Stanley LaBounty even donated nearly $5,000 worth of tools.

“These volunteers, they just have tremendous gifts and skills and they want to make a difference in their community,” said Clanaugh.

Those efforts help people like Sundstrom maintain their independence and keep their peace of mind.

“It’s been a tough year and this is making a little bit of sunshine on a gloomy day,” she said.

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