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Huntington Home Repair Project Has Statewide Potential

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A home repair program in Huntington that brings nationwide volunteers together with hometown groups continues to grow on several levels.

Huntington’s successful Project Shine program served 101 homes in three neighborhoods last year. This year, the program is going city wide. The free housing rehabilitation program provides qualified homeowners with minor home exterior repairs including siding, gutters and windows along with accessibility upgrades like wheelchair ramps and safety additions such as security lighting and weatherization.

Project Shine coordinator Ben Newhouse said more than 1400 youth and adult volunteers from four workgroups across the country will partner with local churches,nonprofits and public schools. He said residents get housing upgrades, young people will learn skills and West Virginia becomes a showcase.

“Kids learn skills when they build and work on homes,This will never be taken away from them,” Newhouse said. “They can pick up a hammer, work on stairs or porches, whatever. Some of them come back to vacation and maybe hopefully go to school here at Marshall or another institution in the area.”

Newhouse said there are numerous work groups across the country that want to get out again and help now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting. He said there are many groups and resources that could help other towns and counties across West Virginia. Several versions of Project Shine are underway throughout the state.

For more information on how you or your community might get involved, email projectshine@huntingtonwv.gov.

Government Reporter, ryohe@wvpublic.org, 304-634-8123

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