Appalachian Outreach, our longtime partner in Jefferson City, Tennessee, provides food, clothing, furniture and household items as well as providing temporary home shelter at its Samaritan House Family Shelter where mothers with children get assistance with housing, budget counseling, tutoring and more to help them get back on their feet.
Appalachian Outreach is also among our partners which provides home rehabilitation to elderly and disabled homeowners in need of a roof repair, flooring, drywall, siding and who may be in need of a handicap ramp to get in and out of their house.
“We provide home repairs to low-income families and the elderly,” says Appalachia Outreach Executive Director Jean-Ann Washam. “The goal of our program is to make the homes safer, enabling the families to remain in their homes and preventing homelessness.”
In 2019, with financial assistance from Americans Helping Americans® made possible by our generous supporters, Appalachian Outreach was able to complete a total of 16 home repairs in rural Tennessee communities such as Bean Station, Dandridge, Morristown and several others in four counties.
Through the home repair program a total of 25 people were served, the majority of them being seniors 55 and older. Among the beneficiaries were 11 senior adults in poor health or disabled and 10 more elderly adults with age-related issues.
For 2020, however in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it was a different story.
Jean-Ann reported that they were able to complete projects in last July, September and November and creating a safe home environment for these families by addressing safety issues with their homes.
“Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 outbreak most of our summer volunteer teams for June 2020 cancelled,” she said. “This left us with families that still desperately needed the repairs, but no volunteers to do the repairs.”
But she is not giving up.
“We are still working on solutions to our problems this year, some of them have been solved but not all of them,” she added. “We have become creative in our way at looking at the repairs that need done. We have prioritized the projects and are working with other agencies to partner together to complete these projects.
“We have had to contract out for some of the repairs, but we have had a few volunteer teams that are still willing to come and help.”
To our supporters, Jean-Ann wants them to know:
“Thank you for your continued partnership. It has made it possible for Appalachian Outreach to serve additional families. Please continue to remember us in your prayers and we seek to serve the families here in East Tennessee.”
And as for the beneficiaries, they were grateful for a new handicap ramp and a no more leaking roof.
“Thank you, now I can stay in my home!