Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity Completes 500th Critical Home Repair

Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity (COHFH) completed its 500th Critical Home Repair for homeowner Evelyn Buck in southwest Oklahoma City. COHFH’s Critical Home Repair program helps low-income homeowners who are struggling to maintain their dwelling due to limitations related to income, age, disability or other circumstances.

“We complete 50 Critical Home Repair projects a year thanks to private donations and proceeds from Central Oklahoma Habitat ReStores,” said Chris Hearn, Critical Home Repair Volunteer Coordinator. “Completing our 500th house is a huge milestone that we could not have accomplished without our countless volunteers, donors, and longtime Critical Home Repair sponsors.”

Buck, a former drug addict who has been sober for many years, purchased the home with her late husband in 1993. The couple slept in the living room for seven years after a fire destroyed ceilings and walls in several rooms of the home. Following her husband’s death in November 2018, she applied for COHFH’s Critical Home Repair program.

Upon learning she had been accepted, she reached out to her church for assistance. Mike Brooks, Pastor of Discipleship and Education Ministries at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, says the church rallied volunteers to help Buck fulfill her required 60 hours of sweat equity.

“Evelyn has some physical limitations, so we arranged for church volunteers to contribute on another project to cover her sweat equity. Then we learned the extent of repairs being done to her home, so we lined up more volunteers, including 20 college students. John Herren, the owner of Sterling Electric, also volunteered labor to rewire the entire house,” said Brooks.

“There have been over 100 people working here (on my home), at least, if not more than that,” said Buck. “The help has been outpouring. Working with Habitat has been really incredible.”

Repairs to the home, which took place over two consecutive weeks, included new exterior siding and paint, drywall, flooring, replacing doors and windows, weatherization, installing a new bathtub and more. Pastor Brooks says church volunteers will help finish the project by repainting the interior of the home.

“Through the Central Oklahoma Habitat Critical Home Repair program, we’re able to work with limited-income homeowners to provide badly needed weatherization, accessibility and other repairs,” said Chairman and CEO Ann Felton Gilliland. “This results in the homeowner being able to continue living independently in a safe and properly maintained home, and by extension it also shows how our CHR program renews neighborhoods.”

To volunteer, donate or apply for COHFH’s Critical Home Repair program, visit COHFH.org or call: 405-232-4828.

About Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity
Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that provides affordable housing for hard-working, limited-income families. The organization has built 981 new homes in Central Oklahoma since 1990, all sold at cost and with no interest charged. For more information, visit YourHabitatHome.com or call 405-232-4828.

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