A Brush With Kindness

Through this program, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley partners with families who currently own their own home but through whatever circumstances, have struggled to maintain the exterior. The program offers exterior home maintenance at no cost to the homeowner. The scope of projects is limited to exterior painting, landscaping, and yard cleanup. The projects are generally scheduled once year in late spring. This is a great program that allows groups of volunteers and homeowners to see a real improvement in a property, start to finish, in just a day.

A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) is an expansion of Habitat for Humanity’s mission. While building and rehabbing houses remains the foundation of what we do, it has become increasingly important for us to help neighbors already in their homes. By maintaining existing housing stock, we prevent homes from becoming unlivable. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “A house saved is a house built.”

Critical Home Repair

Critical Home Repair (CHR) helps low-income homeowners who are affected by age, disability, or family circumstances and struggle to maintain the integrity of their homes. Through CHR, they are able to reclaim their homes with pride and dignity. CHR works as a partner with our core building program, enabling Habitat to serve more families as part of Habitat’s community Neighborhood Revitalization efforts. Neighborhood Revitalization is designed with the goal of helping to transform and strengthen communities so that those who reside in them will be able to live and grow into all that God intends for them. CHR addresses the health and safety of the individual residences in a neighborhood, strengthens connections within the community, and helps preserve affordable housing stock.

CHR projects include extensive interior or exterior work performed to alleviate critical health, life and safety issues or code violations, including a change to or repair of materials or components; a reconfiguration of space; a modification for accessibility; installation or extension of plumbing, mechanical or electrical systems on an existing structure. Note: Painting is not a critical home repair.

Homeowner Eligibility & Projects:
 We are now accepting applications for our Spring 2015 Critical Home Repair and A Brush With Kindess programs. Applicants and projects will be selected based on three factors: need, willingness to partner, and the project details. For more detailed information on elibigibility requirements, please be sure to reference our A Brush With Kindness/Critical Home Repair Program Overview.

The application for CHR and ABWK is a joint application. The Application for A Brush With Kindness and/or Critical Home Repair Programs can be filled out and delivered or mailed to our affiliate office located at 56 S. Grove Ave. in downtown Elgin, or emailed to our Critical Home Repair Coordinator, Jerry Pietryla, at jerry.pietryla@habitatnfv.org. Questions may be directed towards Jerry as well via email or by calling our affiliate office at 847-836-1432.

Volunteers: ABWK is a great volunteer activity with a day of 'prep' and 1-2 days of work. Volunteers can see the revitalization and tranformation of a neighborhood home during their time volunteering for these projects. We accept individuals and teams to work both in the spring and sometimes the fall on our projects. For volunteer information, please contact Jenny Ackerman, Volunteer & Outreach Manager, by calling 847-836-1432 or emailing jenny.ackerman@habitatnfv.org. Please note that our ABWK and CHR projects do not follow a regimented schedule like our home construction; these projects take place on an as-needed basis.