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Housing-Repair Program Aims To Keep Elderly Seniors Independent


More than a dozen elderly homeowners in Dayton’s Westwood neighborhood have been selected by the nonprofit Rebuilding Together Dayton to receive home repairs for free. The event in west Dayton, Saturday April 29, is part of a nationwide annual event made possible by about 100,000 volunteers across the country. 

Credit MVFHC

Rebuilding Together Dayton’s Amy Radachi says the goal of the repair program is to help elderly homeowners remain independent, and avoid moving to expensive assisted-living facilities. She says many of the homeowners chosen for repairs are longtime, stable residents.

“There are a lot of elderly homeowners who have been in their homes an average of 30 to 40 years. They’re on a fixed income and they can’t afford to make repairs that will allow them to stay there, so we’re happy to go in and do what we can to make them safer,” she says.

Rebuilding Together Dayton last year provided free plumbing, painting, yard work, electrical and other repairs to more than more than 200 homeowners in 130 homes last year.

Elderly Westwood homeowner Dorothy Thompson was one of them. She supports her disabled daughter on a low, fixed income. Her home was in desperate need of repairs, but with little financial support, Thompson felt stuck.

She says the repairs she received from Rebuilding Together Dayton volunteers were a big help in fixing things she couldn’t afford to take care of herself.

“The young people that they selected from different schools and the like, they were so polite and so generous. They were eager, saying, ‘what do I do next,' and I appreciated all of it,” she says.  

For more information about Rebuilding Together Dayton, click here

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Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding Americainitiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.
Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.