CINCINNATI — This time last year, Naima Jackson feared losing her family home because she couldn’t afford the necessary repairs.
Now his home is ready for the next generation thanks to WCPO 9 readers and viewers who have stepped up to cover the cost of upgrades and repairs.
“This house, from a mechanical standpoint, should be in great shape for decades with a lot of these things going on,” said Amy Goodman, Sibcy Cline realtor and Fair Housing manager who solicited donations for the house. of Jackson. “As long as they are taken care of, they can last a long time, which will be great.”
In December, Jackson said she appreciated the kindness and support of the many people and companies who contributed.
“I’m grateful,” she said.
WCPO first reported Jackson in early 2021 as she struggled to maintain her family home on Alaska Court in Avondale.
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His great-grandparents bought the house more than 50 years ago, becoming among the first black owners on the street. Jackson inherited the house from his father and the house has been paid for for over 20 years. But Jackson’s monthly Social Security disability checks couldn’t cover the cost of repairs needed to keep the house livable. She sought help from local non-profit organizations without success and tried unsuccessfully to get a second mortgage or a home equity loan.
“This family home is everything,” Jackson said at the time. “I’m trying to save a legacy.”
Almost immediately, WCPO 9 started receiving emails and calls from people who wanted to help.
Funds donated, work done totals over $60,000
Tracey Mcullough launched a GoFundMe campaign for Jackson a day after the original story was published. He raised over $6,600.
Deer Park Roofing installed a new roof and gutters on Jackson’s home in May as part of the company’s 2021 charity project. Owens Corning donated the shingles and Deer Park provided the labor and other materials. The total value of the work was approximately $12,000.
Rich Goodman, project manager at NorthPoint Development and husband of Amy Goodman, assumed the role of general contractor for the remainder of the work. His wife had sent him a link to the original story, he said, and the couple felt compelled to help.
A number of Greater Cincinnati contractors and businesses participated in the work, including SURE Mechanical, Kraft Electrical Contracting, Jaco Waterproofing and The Art Of Interiors.
The companies provided labor and materials to replace Jackson’s furnace, install an air conditioning system, upgrade the electrical system, improve basement drainage, and replace Jackson’s ground floor flooring. floor of his house. The companies covered nearly $30,000 in labor and materials for all of this work. NorthPoint Foundation paid approximately $10,000 of the costs.
In the end, the Goodmans also presented Jackson with a check for nearly $6,400 from leftover money from a separate GoFundMe campaign they started to help pay for repairs.
Medical needs change renovation priorities
The project did not go exactly as planned.
“Plan A was basically to make the basement habitable so Naima could give up her ground floor accommodation for her mother,” said Rich Goodman. “What ultimately happened was his mother ended up going to the hospital.”
This meant that Jackson had to be able to get his mother to move into the house as soon as possible, and that she had to be on the same floor as her mother in order to be able to care for her.
Plan B was to get new flooring for the main floor of the house.
“It basically makes it easier to move between bedrooms and downstairs spaces,” said Rich Goodman. “We were able to lay a false vinyl floor when most of the space was carpeted.”
The goal, he said, was to make it easier to move a medical bed around the house.
Goodmans’ GoFundMe campaign also didn’t raise as much as they initially hoped, Amy Goodman said. But because much of the labor and materials for the job ended up being donated, she said they were able to cover a lot of interior work anyway.
“Almost every major mechanical part in the house has been changed,” she said. “New electrical panel, new furnace with split level air conditioning units, which Sure Mechanical put in and which we hadn’t even anticipated. The house had no air conditioning, so they added air conditioning.
Rich Goodman praised the contractors for their generosity and the way they coordinated their work.
“It’s not like we put in used equipment,” he said. “I mean, we got a brand new oven as a gift.”
Jackson is busy with her mother’s medical care and was unable to do another interview, but Amy Goodman said there remains a major problem – even after all the work that has been completed on Jackson’s home: the fact that so many other homeowners are in need, and the approach that worked for Jackson may not work for everyone.
“There’s no resource for someone to go and get all of this,” Amy Goodman said. “A lot of people are going to see this and be like, ‘Well, what can I do?’ And I think that’s always a really big lack that people have, when they need support, it’s really hard to find the resources.
‘Caring for people’
Amy Goodman said she didn’t have an answer for that, but added that she doesn’t think anyone should have to worry about whether they’re going to lose their house, especially when it’s paid off like that of Jackson.
“I hope someone will see this story and be smarter than us and figure out how to help,” she said. “Whether it’s a foundation or a non-profit organization, whatever it is, there is someone who can create something like this. Or if something like this already exists , how can they scale it Because the need is not going away COVID has not helped that at all.
For anyone who struggles like Jackson, Amy Goodman said she hopes they get something else out of the story as well.
“I also hope that if anyone is going through a tough time right now, they will see that people care,” she said. “The thought and the care are there. I think companies are talking about it. I think the people we’ve raised money from really talk about it, and I hope they know we’re thinking of them.
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