Being disabled, Janet’s home has fallen into disrepair over the years. Why not just move?

“I can’t go anywhere else to live for $500 a month,” she said. “I can’t afford to leave this house.”

Luckily, a couple of kind neighbors have proved to be a lifeline for Janet in multiple ways.

“The only reason my front porch was halfway decent is because of a man who was renting a room next door. He was a retired minister out of the army, and he saw how bad my porch was – on one side, the railing had completely fallen off. But I didn’t have the money [to have it fixed professionally]. I fixed what I could with what little I had,” she said.

“One day when I got home from my jobs, my porch was gone. I said, ‘What are you doing?’ and he said, ‘You need a new porch, so I’m putting these steps up for you.’ Well, it wasn’t two weeks after he finished that I had the accident; I was so glad I had a rail I could hold on to!”

“Another neighbor, she made me curtains, takes me to food banks, and when they go out to get groceries or something, she’ll call me to come with them, even if I just want to get out of the house for a while. She also lets me borrow her car once a month when I get my social security check to pay my bills, get my medication and get groceries.” 

After attending a health fair with this neighbor, Janet finally found someone who could give her a mammogram after five years of searching for a free option. 

She also spoke with a woman at the Friends of Gwinnett Seniors booth who put her in touch with Home Repairs Ministries – a life-changing connection.

By the time everything is done, Home Repairs will have helped Janet with a new front deck and steps, back porch, entryway, door, siding and fireplace. And without any other options to fall back on, Janet is extremely grateful.

“When Clarence [Home Repairs’ project manager] came out here the first time, he was going to go up my back steps. I told him ‘Don’t do it. I don’t even go on those steps; my back porch is ready to fall in,’ ” she said.

“Now, oh, it’s wonderful. I don’t have to worry about falling through the floor! They even took out an old sofa [I needed to get rid of].”

Living for many years on a tight budget, Janet wants other people to realize the plight of low-income families and individuals.

“Some people think if they have it, everybody’s got it. They don’t remember to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes,” she said. 

“All I have is my social security. That’s it. I pinch pennies, and everybody says, ‘How do you manage this?’ I say, ‘ God makes what money I get, and like the loaves of bread and the fishes, He somehow multiplies it to get me through.’ 

“I live month to month. And to those who call and offer to buy my house, I tell them ‘You can’t give me enough to go out there and get another place to live. I know I can afford this.’ Besides, we don’t take any of it with us when we leave this world.

“If people really want to understand what it’s like, I’d have them just take a ride with me [to low-income areas]. I’d ask, ‘Would you live in a house like this? This is all they’ve got, and they can’t repair it.’”

Believing that no good deed goes unnoticed, Janet is grateful to Home Repairs for reaching out to help her in her time of need.

“I figured when God was ready, He would help me run across somebody who could help me,” she said. “Every good deed you do is credited to you when the time comes for you to leave this world, and Home Repairs is helping me out so much.”