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LaCasa still seeking applicants for this spring’s Help-a-House in Goshen

The annual event spruces up homes in Goshen based on income. Many of the homeowners in the program are unable to do the work themselves because they are disabled, elderly or cannot afford the improvements.

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.

GOSHEN — LaCasa Inc. has room for a few more homeowners to sign up for the organization's annual Help-a-House event.

LaCasa, a community housing development group, is looking for homes in Goshen to repair this spring for Help-a-House, an income-based program that recruits volunteers to replace and repair roofs, windows, doors, porches and other parts of homes to make them safe and more energy efficient. This year’s event is May 10.

Bonnie Martin, LaCasa’s vice president of development, said the organization’s Help-a-House volunteers typically work on roughly 10 owner-occupied homes in Goshen each year. Many of the homeowners are unable to do the work themselves because they are disabled, elderly or cannot afford the improvements, she said.

LaCasa also plans to make home improvements at about 20 homes in 2014 owned by low-income seniors outside Goshen’s city limits. That program will run throughout the year.

“We hope this allows the homeowners to be able to purchase insurance because oftentimes if you have something wrong with your house, you’re unable to get insurance,” Martin added.

Help-a-House tends to create a domino effect in neighborhoods, Martin said.

“Having one home that gets fixed up often brings out other neighbors who work on their own houses, so it’s a neighborhood improvement project,” she said.

But homeowners are not the only ones who benefit from Help-a-House, Martin said.

“For the volunteers, we want them to feel good about helping a family and that they participated in a wonderful tradition that we have in Goshen of helping families, and I hope they learn a little bit about LaCasa,” she said.

The deadline for homeowners to apply for Help-a-House is April 4. Applicants must call LaCasa at (574) 533-4450 and pick up an information packet at the organization’s office at 202 N. Cottage Ave. Anyone interested in volunteering should call LaCasa’s office and ask for Kate Irelan.

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.




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