No more basement bail-out: Two Army Veterans & a Home Depot Foundation Grant

Sump pump repair

Bailing out your basement every time it rains in Georgia is not a great way to spend your retirement from the Army. Mitchell and Estella can attest to that statement. A busy couple who were able to benefit from our Senior Repair Program and Home Depot Foundation grant.

The Senior Repair Program at Habitat DeKalb is our home repair program for low-income seniors, disabled residents, and Veterans. Through a small loan through Habitat DeKalb (HFHD) or a grant from a foundation, repairs such as painting, landscaping, weatherization, and minor repair are completed so that people can age in place.

Home Depot is one such foundation that provides funds for Veteran home repair. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $375M in veteran causes and improved more than 50,000 veteran homes and facilities. HFHD is privileged to be one of their recipients charged with carrying out this important work.

Mitchell and Estella are Army Veterans that recently benefitted from the Home Depot grant HFHD received. Mitchell specialized in transportation and was stationed in Maryland at Fort Holabird. The two married and settled in Dekalb County.

Veteran Home Repair
Army Veterans, Estella and Mitchell

Mitchell and Estella have been married for 41 years. Estella told Sharon Steele, Executive Director, that they got married with neighbors present in the very yard of the home Habitat performed their repair service.

The couple raised three sons, mourned the death of two of them, and are currently living with two of their grandchildren in this home.

The two reached out to HFHD because they were having issues with water in their basement crawl space. The water affected both their water tank and heating unit.  

Every time it rained Mitchell had to go up and down the stairs to the basement and scoop out water by hand. Habitat DeKalb’s construction crew installed a sump pump.

The construction crew, largely long-time volunteers, enjoyed their work a little more than usual. Why? Estella always made a treat for the sump pump crew. Banana pudding and strawberry shortcake certainly make hard work palatable.

After the sump pump was installed, Mitchell called Sharon after the first rain with an update. He told her that they were ecstatic to hear the sump pump turn on when the rain started. The water was moved out of the basement with no assistance from Mitchell. Goodbye to basement bail-outs!

To help Habitat DeKalb help more deserving Veterans with home repair so they can continue to age in place, consider a donation. For more information, email Sharon Steele.

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