COVID-19 hindering House of Heroes projects

Coronavirus

A non-profit organization founded in Columbus 20 years ago to help veterans is facing an uphill battle. House of Heroes comes along side veterans who need help making minor repairs to their homes. The work is performed by community volunteers and is done at no cost to the veteran.

Susan Wood, the executive director of House and Heroes, was optimistic about 2020. “This is our 20th anniversary so we began the year with high hopes and big plans of assisting 100 veterans. It was going to be the best year we ever had!”

Then COVID-19 struck and that sidelined their teams of volunteers. They had 12 teams scheduled for the month of April alone. Wood says, “They all had to back out. What we didn’t expect was that funding would stop. When I would go look to apply for grants, they were either closed or they had re-directed their funding to fight COVID-19-related issues.”

But House of Heroes has found a way to stay connected with their veterans during the pandemic. They packaged up 235 care packages of non-perishable food items and delivered them to the veterans’ front porches.

But they need so much more. Many of the veterans on the House of Heroes project list need roofs repaired and handicap-accessible bathrooms installed.

“If there’s someone out there who wants to donate a service to help one of these veterans with a bathroom or roof, we would appreciate that,” says Wood.

Using their local project manager and board member help, House of Heroes has tackled some projects themselves. “We did build a couple of ramps and replaced rotten deck boards. We’ve taken down one porch that was falling in.” Wood emphasizes they’re trying to address emergency safety situations.

She says right now they have $150-thousand dollars worth of projects on the books to help veterans, but they’re struggling to find the resources.

Wood is convinced, “I believe House of Heroes is meant to continue. I really relieve this. Our whole community has always supported us. So I know the support is there. We’re just in a very hard time. People are very uncertain about where their money’s coming from…if their businesses are going to reopen. So we do understand. Everybody has been impacted.”

If you would like to help House of Heroes, you can contact their Executive Director Susan Wood at susanw@hohcvc.org. Their phone number is (706) 569-7011. You can reach them online at www.houseofheroescvc.org.

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