Good Neighbors Home Repair
Located in Kennett Square, Good Neighbors is committed to helping low-income homeowners in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, and New Castle County, Delaware, have warmer, safer, drier, and healthier homes. Learn more about their mission and service impact with this Q&A.
What does your organization do and what is your mission?
Good Neighbors Home Repair has been serving the southern Chester County community for 28 years. It is our mission to restore hope and dignity to qualified low-income homeowners by repairing their homes at no cost to them as an expression of our love for Jesus Christ. We do not discriminate when selecting homes, volunteers, or suppliers; homes are repaired based on need. Our vision is to for all people in our community to have a warm, safe, dry, and healthy home.
How did you get started?
We got our start in 1992 when a few friends collaborated to repair a bathroom for an elderly neighbor. In 2008 Good Neighbors became an independent nonprofit organization. In 2016, we expanded our work into New Castle County, Delaware.
Can you describe your program?
Good Neighbors’ key initiative is providing free, critical home repairs to low-income homeowners. These households are typically occupied by single mothers, the elderly, or the disabled. We make repairs at one-third to one-half the cost of the industry standard because we use volunteers on many of our repair sites. Additionally, we use donated materials or materials purchased at a discounted rate. We pay our project managers $25/hour, well below the industry rate. Typical Good Neighbors’ projects are roof repairs/replacement, heater repair/replacement, window replacement, repairs to unsafe entryways or decks, wheelchair ramp installation, siding replacement, and repairing water damage.
What is the level of need in Chester County?
According to the Housing Assistance Council, there are 57,148 inadequate housing units in Chester County. This number accounts for about 30 percent of the residents of Chester County.
What is an example of how your program helped a local family?
We replaced the carpet in a homeowner’s house, dramatically improving the health of one of her five children. Her son had ended up hospitalized in critical condition due to an asthma attack, and she could not afford to replace the carpeting that was exacerbating his asthma. After she called Good Neighbors for help, we were able to replace the carpeting with hardwood floors. In the months that followed, her son did not experience any severe asthma attacks. That is progress!
Who is your executive director?
Harold Naylor has been the Executive Director of Good Neighbors for four years. Prior to that he worked in Christian education for sixteen years, and before that in the private business sector. Harold is president of Advance Christian Schools, a mentoring and coaching organization, and an active member of Faith Presbyterian Church). He and his wife, Cynthia, have four children. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How has your program changed since COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a negative impact on our fundraising, and over the past three years, our repair inquiries have doubled. We presently have a waiting list of 60 homes. COVID-19 has hurt many families who were just keeping their heads above water, and we are beginning to see a growing demand for help.
Throughout the pandemic, Good Neighbors has continued to provide home repairs, but the pandemic has made it more challenging to obtain volunteers, so our repair costs have risen. We are doing repairs with our in-house staff or with contractors willing to provide us with discounts. Mostly we are working on exterior projects while maintaining social distancing; we are also using masks when we are in close contact with clients or other workers, and we are disinfecting tools and vehicles.
How can the community help?
Good Neighbors relies on the local community to help serve low-income homeowners. In 2019, 518 volunteers contributed over 8,300 volunteer hours toward our work. And last year, 27 percent of our revenue came from donations from individuals. Our surrounding community is critical to the work we do, and we welcome your help. We hope you’ll consider joining us on October 24 for our virtual gala and online auction. See our website, www.goodneighborhshomerepair.org, for more information.