A series of unfortunate events, even predating the COVID pandemic, had curtailed the Of One Accord ministry’s Home Repair program, which at one time was working on as many as 30 projects in a year.
Although it will be along process to get the program back to its previous levels of productivity, ministry director Sheldon Livesay said this week he expects to be able to complete as many as 30 projects in 2020.
But it’s going ot require some help from a group of mission teams that have already pledge to visit Hawkins County this year.
Welcoming the mission teams
COVID has affected or broken many channels and conduits in the community that affects the lower income residents who live here.
One of those conduits has been mission teams that travel throughout the year to serve Ministries like Of One Accord Ministry here in Hawkins and Hancock Counties.
Ministries become dependent on these church groups coming from around the country helping do home repairs, distributions, dental and eye clinics, and work in their ministry centers.
Not only do these groups come with energy, but they come with ability. Of One Accord has been able in past years to complete as many as 30 home repairs of different sizes and complexity through these teams, which range from youth to adults.
These teams have been vital to local, low income homeowners to stretch their tiny budgets to do needed home repairs. Since getting into the home repair business back in 1996, Of One Accord has seen first hand how small home repair needs become unaffordable to these local homeowners.
Mission Teams are beginning to call and schedule weeks this summer, COVID permitting.
Taking applications for repairs
Of One Accord will be making applications for home repair available at the front desk of The Shepherd’s Center in Rogersville. If you have any questions, you can call Eva 423-300-8378.
Livesay says the ministry might not be able to get every application completed this year, but will get a start on them, praying for even more teams next year. Most teams send a few team members up a couple of months early to choose homes, so owners are encouraged to get requests in early.
He noted that Of One Accord teams still finds families living right here locally that live without indoor bathrooms and running water.
“We’ve seen some residents live months or years in a home with no electric. I’ll never forget visiting a home this time of year to ask about doing a home repair,” Livesay said. “I stepped inside and it was freezing cold in their little mobile home.”
Livesay added, “I asked if the heat was broken and she replied, no, we don’t heat. That’s a culture shock for me. This lady had three teens in middle and high school. I ask why she didn’t heat. She showed me her meager assistance check of $660. She said it cost her $250 to heat that old, uninsulated mobile home. She couldn’t pay the bill so her electric would get cut off, robbing her of lights, a stove and refrigerator. She ended by saying, we just learn to struggle through the winters.”
Repair teams might not be able to repair a complete home, but often if the major problems are corrected, a team can greatly improve the quality of life for a family.
Sometimes just by having an application in, even when enough teams can’t make it up to help, other avenues open up for the family.
This is a program operated entirely on local donations. In the past there have been a few grants that help, but most of the funding for the program is derived through local resources.