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October 7, 2018 Family, Partnerships

Philly nonprofits team up to help older homeowners with much-needed repairs

Habitat for Humanity and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia helped repair homes

Justin Udo, KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Two local nonprofit organizations teamed up Sunday to help older Philadelphians in need of some vital repairs to their homes.

For the last 45 years, Sylvia Genoy has lived in her home in Northeast Philadelphia. During that time, she and her husband were able to keep it in tip-top shape.

“Over the years, he was a very handy man and he knew what to do, and me too. I always took pleasure in fixing and doing,” she said.

But after her husband passed away a few years ago and her physical health took an unfortunate turn, she has not been able to keep up with maintenance and repairs as she would like.

The sidewalk was in rough shape, buckling and posing a trip hazard for Genoy and her neighbors.

To the rescue, however, came Habitat for Humanity and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. They teamed up to work on Genoy’s home and six others.

Emily Lucas with Habitat for Humanity said it’s hard work, but they’re happy to do it.

“This is a really fun extension of our larger mission to make sure everyone has a safe and affordable place to live,” said Lucas. “We’re doing a lot of sidewalk repair. We’re doing lots of painting. We have houses where we’ve replaced roofs and were inside repairing water damage.”

Melanie Gerchberg, director of the Jewish Federation’s NextGen, said more than 100 volunteers are doing a multitude of different things on the selected homes.

“We like to be able to see hands-on the work that we’re doing, and to be able to actually see it physically, and know that we are making an impact,” she said. “This is wonderful opportunity for us to be able to do that.”

Genoy added that having people volunteer their time and help her out makes her happier than she can express.

“I am overwhelmed, it makes me feel very good,” she said.

The project was made possible with a $40,000 donation from the Jewish Federation Real Estate group.