The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 24, 2014

Deadline extended for signup

Staff Report
The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — The deadline has been extended for people to apply to get their homes repaired for free. Applications are now available through Feb. 8.

More than 230 teenagers and adults will come to Danville to improve the homes of local residents this summer. Elderly, handicapped, and lower-income residents of Danville will be able to receive the free home repairs.

First Presbyterian Church of Danville is working with the national organization called Group Cares in bringing the work camp to Danville July 7-11.

The purpose is to bring a Christian witness to Danville by improving the homes of local residents who are not able to make repairs or pay for them on their own.

Residents who would like to have free home repair assistance may pick up an application at First Presbyterian Church, Faith in Action, Love Inc., CRIS Healthy-Aging, Laura Lee, and the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency.

Applications also will be available at many local churches. Volunteers will be available to help local residents complete the application forms.

The City of Danville is joining this effort as a sponsoring agency. The city has agreed to use some of its federal block grant money in this program.

The number of homes selected for repairs is determined by the number of work camp participants. At this point, some 40 local families will benefit from the work of the adult and teenage volunteers at the Danville work camp.

Repairs offered will include interior and exterior painting, weatherization, porch and wheelchair ramp construction, and other work. Only homeowners are eligible for this repair program. City of Danville will help in the selection of homes to be repaired.

The work camp participants will be housed at Danville High School with campers sleeping on floors in the field house, eating in the cafeteria, and enjoying morning and evening programs in the gym. The housing expenses are being paid by Group Cares, Inc.

Funding for the project is being provided by First Presbyterian Church, Group Cares, the City of Danville, and by the youth participants. Each youth pays a registration fee. These fees and co-sponsor funding is used to cover the cost of building equipment and other needed supplies.

Group Cares is a non-profit, interdenominational Christian volunteer home-repair organization headquartered in Loveland, Colo. This summer, it will sponsor 48 work camps in communities across the United States and Canada.

In the past four years, youth from First Presbyterian Church of Danville have participated in work camps in Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and North Carolina.