Teens help repair homes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teens help repair homes

July 12, 2005

Valdosta - These teens could spend the summer doing anything they want, but instead of relaxing or hanging out with friends, they're working eight hours a day in the sweltering heat to repair Geraldine Coleman's home. "I'm building a railing for the elderly woman who needs to get down the stairs," said Nate Hurtsellers.

"We're fixing her house, we're painting the sides, putting skirting all around the edges and fixing up her porch," said Jen Varana.

More than 400 teenagers from all over the country are in Valdosta this week for the Southern Hospitality Group Workcamp. It's part of a faith based housing renovation project to repair 52 homes in just five days. "We're helping people who don't have the resources or the ability to fix their own houses," said Hurtsellers.

The repairs they're making may be minor, but they all add up and they're putting the city one step closer to reaching a major goal. "Work like this is a huge step towards eliminating substandard housing, which the city has a goal to eliminate it all by the year 2020," said Warren.

The project is targeted at elderly or disabled residents who are in desperate need of home repairs, but don't have the financial resources or the physical ability to complete them. At the end of the week, dozens of homeowners like Geraldine will have a house they can be proud of. "I feel good, I feel really good," said Coleman.

And these teens can head back to their hometowns knowing that their work will have a lasting impact on her life.

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