Neighborlink is Positively Fort Wayne

Local News

A group of Allen County residents consider themselves good neighbors. So much so that they’re part of a group called Neighborlink. Their mission is to offer basic home repairs and maintenance to homeowners who are elderly, disabled, low income or find themselves in vulnerable positions.

We caught up with retired engineer David Smith and his crew working on a project for Judith Jones. “We’re basically making an ADA accessible wheelchair ramp for Judith Jones,” said Smith. “She needs access to her home for medical reasons.”

Jones’ daughter Sandy Bailey, asked Neighborlink for help. “My dad passed away nine years ago and he left so many memories in our house,” said Bailey. “They raised four kids here and my mom doesn’t want to leave. She wants to stay with those memories and the Neighborlink guys are totally making it happen for her.”

“The mother had a stroke and life circumstances happened and she found herself in need of a wheelchair ramp,” said Neighborlink Executive Director Andrew Hoffman. He said the nonprofit offers its services at a big discount. “So we ask and invite the homeowner to contribute whether it’s $10 dollars or the full cost. Then volunteers are asked if they can contribute. “We also go to the public and ask for fundraising and we turn to lots of crowd funding,” said Hoffman. “The volunteers don’t get paid in the traditional sense but they love what they do so their payment comes in helping others.”

Neighborlink volunteers do everything from repair blinds, to cut grass and paint homes. “We’ve got projects going on all the time. About two or three a week,” said Smith. Smith and his team of volunteers build the ramp for Jones in about five hours. It extended about 44 feet from the house to the driveway.

“Last year we had over one-thousand home repair projects,” said Hoffman. “About 30 percent of them cost dollars. The rest of them just take somebody’s time like mowing grass. But last year we spent about $180,000 on projects. That’s $180,000 that got transformed into building wheelchair ramps and putting roofs on and replacing furnaces and things like that.”

Neighborlink is also partnering with WANE-TV for Nexstar’s annual day of caring which is Friday, June 15th. WANE-TV employees will work on painting homes in Fort Wayne.

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