low-income and disabled elderly residents make-needed repairs to their homes.
During the second Saturday in June volunteers made minor improvements to the homes, and sometimes address serious safety issues.
Repair Affair Coordinator Linda Clements said the only stipulation for volunteers is the repairs must all be completed in one day.
"Everything they do has to be done in one day," explained Clements. "Individuals in need have to fill out an application, and then income and resources must be verified."
According to Clements interested participants must be classified as low-income, have to be 60-years or older, disabled, receiving assistance, live in Grayson County, and own their own home.
After the people meet the technical and financial guidelines someone goes out to the home, and reviews what the person has asked to be done.
The person making the assessment determines if it can be done in one day by an unskilled laborer.
The volunteer’s skills and jobs that needed to be completed are then put together. After that a materials list is compiled and ordered through local businesses.
This year there were eight homes that were worked on in various locations around the county.
Blowtown resident Nancy Saltsman was one of the people chosen to have her home worked on.
Saltsman, who is 63-years-old, needed to have vinyl siding installed and two windows replaced.
"I really appreciate the work these people did," explained Saltsman. "I can get out and walk a little, but cannot do much. I live alone. My arch collapsed in one of my feet, and I cannot stand that much."
A group from First Baptist Church assisted with the improvements.
"They installed one window and will do the other this Saturday, because it did not come in," added Saltsman. "The team did a really great job."
Clements said the volunteers hear about the annual event through advertisements in the paper, church bulletins, and word of mouth.
"Members of the Community Alliance help get the word out," explained Clements. "Past volunteers continue to return each year and bring new ones with them."
Clements said Carl Miller has worked with the Repair Affair every year for the past five years.
"He was not able to do much this year, but he was there on the job site for support and know how," added Clements.
Clements explained that the Repair Affair was created in April 2003 after people from various organizations did a needs based assessment for senior citizens in the area.
"When the Community Alliance was just beginning the major concern was transportation," said Clements. "We decided to get together and meet to decide what the biggest issues facing senior citizens in the area were."
The four things that came up were prescription medicine, transportation to come to town for appointments, insufficient housing, and dialysis.
According to Clements the prescription project is now one of the major programs for the Community Alliance.
A van was initially used in Grayson County for medical transportation only, but was not used as much as they thought it would be.
"Because of the high costs we had to discontinue the program," explained Clements. "We do have a donated vehicle program though."
The Repair Affair was created out of the housing concerns issue.
Larry Kimberlain with the Kentucky Housing Corporation told the group who was meeting that day about the Repair Affair going on in another county. Kimberlain was familiar with the Barren River version of the program and encouraged the group to do the same thing for Grayson County.
The first Repair Affair was held on June 5, 2004. About 11 homes were improved that day.
"Grayson County has been very generous with donations like materials and labor for this project," said Clements. "If we have to buy something then local businesses give us a good discount."
When some of the volunteer groups get to their respected job sites, they do more than what is asked of them. If it is something minor.
"As far as I know everything went off with no problems," added Clements. "I talked to some of the homeowners and they are pleased with what was done. I think it is a great program, but I wish more people would get involved."