A Brush with Kindness is a program of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity that helps low-income homeowners struggling to restore and maintain a safe and decent place to live.
Many low-income homeowners live in challenging circumstances which create issues that are beyond what they can handle alone. You may know of a neighbor, parent or grandparent who is struggling to keep their home in a livable condition. Homeowners often must choose between paying for food, medication, taxes, and basic utilities.
When basic family expenses exceed income month after month, home maintenance is the usual casualty. However, years of deferred maintenance can cause a downward spiral of home deterioration and unsafe living conditions. Outside forces also play a role in putting the squeeze on low-income homeowners. Often they are threatened with city code violations and homeowner insurance cancellation when their home is in disrepair.
Many of our homeowners have worked years to maintain their homes and now find themselves in an awkward and sometimes embarrassing position of asking for help. A Brush with Kindness helps ease wary homeowner concerns by providing home preservation services that are sensitive to homeowner circumstances.
After completing an application process, A Brush with Kindness provides caring volunteer groups who are willing to come alongside and assist needy homeowners in completing the necessary work. Able-bodied homeowners also work side by side with volunteers in a cooperative effort.
It is recommended that each team assign one person as a homeowner liaison to meet, greet and answer any questions the homeowner may have concerning the team and the work they will do at their home. Each homeowner has a unique life story and circumstance. Therefore, it is important for staff and volunteers to be sensitive to the homeowner’s situation and to direct all issues and concerns to site staff or volunteer team leader.
A Brush with Kindness is a program about connecting people and restoring homes through simple acts of kindness so that homeowners can live in a safe, stable home.
“I have lived in my home for 57 years. The place is filled with so many memories that the thought of giving it up because of maintenance was difficult. Thanks to your generosity, I can continue to live with my gardens and memories and even create some new ones – like the kindness of the volunteers who made it possible.” – ABWK Homeowner