PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The city of Dallas’ People Helping People Program has received an Innovations in American Government Award for advancing efforts to address the nation’s most pressing public concerns.
“People Helping People volunteers and staff assist qualified older and disabled homeowners with minor exterior home repairs,” said People Helping People Coordinator Shelly Nixon. The program is supervised by the city’s Housing/Community Services Department staff and provides up to $5,000 worth of materials and supplies for home repairs.
Since 1985, the People Helping People Program has been assisting 62+ years of age or disabled homeowners with minor exterior home repairs. Repairs include replacing rotted wood, scraping and painting, rebuilding/replacing steps, handrails, porches, demolishing small structures, and removing open storage from yards.
An application is completed by the homeowner either by phone or mailed in to the PHP office. The application is then processed and assigned to a coordinator, who will contact the homeowner to schedule an initial home visit. Once the home visit is conducted, all the required documents are received and it is determined that homeowner qualifies for the program, an inspection will be completed by an inspector to determine if the home is appropriate for PHP volunteer assistance. If the home is deemed appropriate for PHP volunteer services, there is a waiting process. The average wait for assistance varies.
Volunteer recruitment is a year-round process at PHP. Any organization looking to coordinate a team project will find that once involved, it is a highly rewarding experience and one that merits their return year after year. All interested volunteer organizations must complete an application. This will provide PHP with basic knowledge about the group’s skills and assist in matching them with a project at the appropriate level.
Volunteer groups provide all the tools and labor necessary to complete the project selected. Projects typically require 15-20 volunteers and 8-10 hours to complete. Small projects for youth groups are also available. Youth groups require 1 adult to 5 youth ratio. Recommended minimum age is 13.
SOURCE: Alliance for Innovation