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Meet Harry & Darnell: Repair Program

Harry and Darnell are part of Habitat for Humanity's Veteran Repair Program

“Next week is my 92nd birthday. I’ve lived in this house 18 years […] we aren’t going nowhere,” says Harry.

Harry, a veteran, and his wife, Darnell got connected to Habitat for Humanity’s Veteran Repair Program through the Council on Aging. Their home had major water damage from a plumbing leak and roof damage. After a bad experience with a previous contractor, they were able to repair their home with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati. “It has just been a blessing, blessing, blessing. We are so grateful. Some of the work we probably couldn’t have gotten done without Habitat,” said Darnell.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati helped to repair the roof, replace a leaky toilet, and replace the damaged drywall, exterior water spicket, and leaking chimney. These repairs were made possible with support from The Home Depot Foundation.

“It takes a lot of pressure off. You know, walking in there and seeing the big hole in the ceiling. It was leaking for a long time. When we went in the kitchen we had to have buckets catching the water,” says Harry. “They stopped the leaking and replaced the drywall.”

“We have a lot of family and we’re the house that everyone comes to. So having the kitchen done made it so much better. This is just a family home, and we entertain all our family. This is where everyone gathers,” says Darnell.

The couple says that the repairs will help them be able to stay in their home as they age. “We will absolutely be able to stay longer. I mean doing the roof, that’s a lot. That’s a lot of pressure taken off of us. Like Harry said, we aren’t going anywhere. But we’re happier now that we know some of the things we needed fixed are complete and we didn’t have to struggle to figure out how to pay for them,” says Darnell.

The couple says that they have built a great community on the street over the 18 years they lived there. They all look out for each other and help with things like bringing in the garbage cans and shoveling the snow. “I love to plant flowers in my yard. I have some neighbors who also like planting. We split and trade plants,” says Darnell. She is excited to have a working spicket to water her outdoor flowers.

Darnel says, “for Habitat to have programs like this, Aging in Place and the Veteran Repair Program, it is a beautiful thing. For a lot of seniors, we get our little check and that’s ok, but it’s the extra things that you have to do. For Habitat to come in and do that extra work is great. We explained [the program] to our neighbors, all seniors, and they were really excited too.”

For more information about the Veteran Repair Program click here.

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