A Brush With Kindness

Putting God's love into action by building homes, communities & hope through affordable shelter.

Habitat for Humanity of Goldsboro-Wayne believes in the power of safe, stable and affordable housing. But we are not focused just on new homeownership. In 2017 “A Brush with Kindness” began with a focus on minor, exterior home repairs for existing homeowners. Repairs can range from a new set of front steps and handrail, to a new door or fresh coat of exterior paint, to a bit of landscaping. Our goal is to help families address needs before they become serious concerns, provide an opportunity for families to maintain stability in their homes, and help give their homes a bit more curb appeal, brightening the entire neighborhood. “Brush” works with families who are below 80% median family income. In Wayne County, approximately 19% of all homeowners are cost-burdened (NC Housing Coalition). Cost-burdened families often have to juggle paying for food, mortgages, utilities and medical bills, and can be blindsided by repair costs. A Brush With Kindness gives these families a hand up.

The affordable housing challenge in Wayne County is large, but this $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist opportunity could help address many minor home repair needs, allow us to take this program to the next level and increase the number of lives changed in our community. Currently each "Brush" project’s cost is capped at $750 with a maximum $250 subsidy. Due to the program’s financial constraints, that will allow us serve 10-15 families this year. Having these Good Neighbor dollars to dedicate to this project would allow us much more flexibility in the next year to address our community’s needs. With this funding, we could potentially serve as many as 10 times our original projection. Conversely, we could use this funding to perhaps serve fewer than the maximum 100 families, but in a more comprehensive and more heavily subsidized manner. Ultimately the community needs will dictate how these State Farm dollars are used, but this program can only grow through this opportunity.

The biggest personal investment that most people will ever make is the purchase of a home. Families purchase homes with dreams of children and grandchildren running around, of homework being done at the kitchen table and graduation parties, of backyard barbecues after a long week at work. Families do not purchase homes with dreams of collapsing porches or front steps that are too unreliable to walk on, of doors that can’t close and lock, of leaking roofs or of peeling paint and overgrown weeds. Fixing those problems for a family can have generational impacts. Fixing these problems can impact a family's ability to to walk in and out safely, get a good night’s sleep, or even wrestle with an aggravated asthma condition. But even beyond the impact on the individual families, “A Brush with Kindness” can help improve an entire neighborhood when homes falling into disrepair are suddenly revitalized. A Brush with Kindness may only be just that – a brush – but it can have a lasting impact.