Burien senior avoids losing her home; Habitat for Humanity to the rescue
information from Habitat for Humanity
Alice Donnelly purchased her home in Burien 40 years ago. When her mother became ill, and needed fulltime care, Alice quit her job and moved her mom into her own home in order to care for her.
This put an incredible strain on her finances, forcing Alice to take out a second mortgage in order make ends meet. A few years after her mother’s passing, Alice herself began experiencing serious health issues, which put additional pressure on her finances and emotional well-being.
“I didn’t realize at the time, when caring for my mother, that quitting my job would have such an impact on my future income – my social security and pension were greatly affected,” she said.
When Alice’s roof began leaking, and she was notified of the absence of insulation under her home, she had to face the prospect of losing her home as she simply did not have the money for these expensive repairs.
A friend of hers, who had recently accessed Habitat for Humanity’s Critical Repairs team, encouraged Alice to reach out to Habitat of Humanity Seattle – King County to see if they could help.
“Of course, I had heard of Habitat over the years, but I thought they just built homes for people… I didn’t know they also provided free repair services for people who lived in non-Habitat homes,” she said.
Habitat’s Critical Repairs program in the Seattle-King County area works with homeowners who need assistance with critical repairs that will alleviate health and safety issues. Habitat also offers Home Preservation as a component of the Repair Program to address minor home maintenance and repairs to the home and Aging in Place services for seniors and those with physical or mental impairments to better enable people to live and age safely in their homes.
The team replaced Alice’s roof, installed much-needed insulation, and following a home assessment, thinned out several large trees that were encroaching on the house and replaced the large, living room window that was fully cracked.
Alice says that the impact of Habitat’s help on her life cannot be overstated, as the worry and stress over losing her long-time home was overwhelming. She does not know what would have become of her had she not had the help.
Now Alice spends most of her time watching the birds and squirrels out of her new living room window, feeling safe and secure for the first time in a long while.
“A home really means security, where you have a good well-being,” she said. And to Habitat donors, she said amid tears, “Thank you for helping Habitat help people like me. God bless you.”
About Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County
In King and Kittitas Counties, and around the world, Habitat for Humanity brings people together as volunteers, homeowners, donors and community members to create strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. The organization was recently named by Engage for Good as its 2020 Golden Halo Award nonprofit winner, the group’s highest honor for causes that engage in activities designed to do well by doing good.
In our local community, Habitat for Humanity constructs affordable homes, revitalizes neighborhoods, repairs homes for low-income people and seniors, operates discount home improvement stores in Auburn, Southcenter, Bellevue, and Ellensburg, and mobilizes nearly 4,500 volunteers a year. Learn more at www.Habitatskc.org.