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New nonprofit bolstering neighborhoods with home help – The importance of home is more evident than ever during pandemic

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Featured

Published on January 13, 2021 with No Comments

The importance of home is more evident than ever during this pandemic.

Having a safe and secure place to live is what Home Team Valpo is all about. The new nonprofit began in October with the goal of bringing together the community to make an impact in our neighborhoods through home maintenance and cleanup.

Home Team Valpo Executive Director Lori Simon said the nonprofit was launched by Valparaiso residents with help from the city.

“We hope to lift up individuals by offering a service that those in need will feel they may rely upon. We are working to restore homes to safe and sufficient, quality housing,” she said. “We hope to earn the trust of our community with a servant’s heart. Priority is given to senior citizens and physically disabled property owners as well as veterans in the community in need of assistance with their home maintenance.”

The fall kickoff project was able to help six homeowners have cleaner yards with the help of volunteers.

Simon said the nonprofit is navigating the Covid landscape to ensure that the team is working toward its mission and goals in a safe manner.

“When working as a team of volunteers, we like for groups who are together often to volunteer for a project as they are familiar with each other, social distance well together and respect each other by wearing face coverings during the entire project,” she said.

Homeowners in need of help can apply for assistance. After an application is submitted, two volunteers will review the scope of the work to be completed and assess if it is a doable project at this time.

“We are able to navigate during Covid by creating work that needs to be done outdoors,” she said. “Any other work is typically going to be with contractors who work in homes safely during these times.”

Simon is looking forward to propelling the nonprofit forward when restrictions ease, but for now is hoping to spotlight the new organization’s planned impact.

“Home Team Valpo is working with charter partners in this first year that are passionate for our cause and believe in our mission,” she said.

Homeowners can apply for assistance at www.hometeamvalpo.org or request an application by calling: 219-548-4827.

 

Energy assistance still available 

We continue to accept applications for the Energy Assistance Program through a no contact process as our offices are still closed to the public.

The income-eligible program continues to assist those in need of help paying their energy bills. Our staff members and volunteers are beginning to process applications submitted to our offices, 1005 Campbell St.

Those needing help can visit https://www.portercountyacs.org/energy-assistance to download an application. Once it is printed out and completed, it can be left in the drop box in our lobby between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or mailed in: 1005 Campbell St., Valparaiso, IN 46385. Those needing to pick up a paper copy to fill out will also find them in the PCACS lobby.

The state website for EAP is an option to fill out an application all online. Visit https://ihcda.rhsconnect.com/.

While we cannot take appointments and meet in person, our team is still available to answer questions via phone at 219-464-9736, Option 1.

 

 

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About Bruce Lindner

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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