Home Depot and the Whatcom Volunteer Center have joined forces to help the Ness family of Blaine. In early 2009, the Ness family lost their father in a mobile home fire. The grieving family moved into a different mobile home they had purchased for very little money, but it was substandard housing.
It had not been lived in for years, and had mold and water damage from leaks. The interior walls had to be gutted, the floors taken up, and the appliances discarded. They were trying to upgrade the home – they wanted to make it “livable” as they got money and time to make repairs. A tremendous amount of work was needed to renovate this mobile home. The Ness family is a single parent household with two teenagers living at home. Marlene, the mother, was off work for several months due to disability, and it increasingly looked like the necessary repairs to the home were too overwhelming for them to finish.
A close family friend, Garnell Bland, seeing the Ness family’s struggles, was concerned for the family’s safety, health, and welfare because their house was in dire condition.
Home Depot and Whatcom Volunteer Center agreed to team up to help improve this family’s situation. For this four day “makeover”, Whatcom Volunteer Center is assisting with recruiting and managing volunteers and materials for this large project.
The project as currently planned includes installing flooring, kitchen cabinets, functional appliances, interior/exterior painting and light fixtures, skirting, stairs, and some other essentials for safe living.
Home Depot volunteers will provide technical assistance and be crew leaders for most phases of this project. The Home Depot is providing much of the materials for the “makeover” and Home Depot employees in the region – including Bellingham, Oak Harbor, Burlington and Marysville – will participate as Team Depot volunteers. Many other community volunteers also are involved in making this project a reality.
Home Depot staff and Whatcom Volunteer Center staff invited several suppliers to bring together the materials to complete this project and make the home habitable for the family.
Participating businesses in this project include: Mason’s Contracting, GMA Construction, Grow Source Landscape, Lehmann’s Appliances, Cabinets, Inc., Smith Gardens, and JB Sod. Additional in-kind donations were received from Olive Garden, Scott’s, Penske Trucking, Behr Paint, and East Side Materials. Additionally, the project has received individual donations to help make it a reality.
Sue Ellen Heflin of the Whatcom Volunteer Center added that “it is our fervent hope that by helping the Ness family live in a safe and suitable home, it will mean that they can move forward with confidence into the future.”