MOUNT VERNON — The combined efforts of area businesses and organizations is providing some much-needed help for a local family.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Mount Vernon Fire Department were called to the home of Jeffrey Summers at 227 Johnson Ave. last week as the deteriorating condition of the home was worsening. As neighbors were concerned for the safety of the home’s residents, a call was made to the KCSO reporting that the roof of the house was caving in.
“We deemed the structure unsafe,” said Mount Vernon Fire Department Acting Chief Chris Menapace.
Once the property was inspected, he said the occupants were evacuated until the structure could once again be considered habitable.
Knox County Health Commissioner Julie Miller had earlier visited the house and stated, “The house was separating at the peak and had obvious issues.” After not being able to get anybody to come to the door and feeling obligated to follow through with a concern for residents’ safety, Miller sent a letter to the residents who then acknowledged that they would accept some assistance.
The family was then provided temporary housing through the American Red Cross and Interchurch Social Services while it was determined what to do with the structure. They have since been moved to an assisted living facility. In the meantime, efforts are being pooled together to get the house back to a safe level of residency.
Paul Bundy, assistant manager of the Mount Vernon Lowe’s, is working with a program called Lowe’s Heroes which sets aside funds for projects such as this. “We have gotten involved in the past few years, especially through the Safety Saturday program,” said Bundy. “This opportunity came up, and we decided to go ahead with it.”
Members of the church where Bundy attends, the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, are teaming up with Lowe’s to return Summers’ home to a livable condition with the help of local businesses. Lowe’s is providing lumber for the project. ABC Supply will be installing new trusses on the roof. And Mid-State Waste is providing a Dumpster for the project.
The project is planned for completion by Sept. 10.
“The church is marking the 75th anniversary of their welfare program in 2011,” said Bundy. “Our leaders wanted us to get involved in the community and do something for someone in need, and this fell right in line with that.”
Some preliminary work also needs to be completed before the roof is able to be replaced on the home.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it needs to be done,” said Bundy.
Once the repairs are completed on the home, a decision from the Knox County Health Department can be made to determine if the structure is safe to live in once again.