Rebuilding homes and lives; Local ministry helps low-income families keep their homes
For nearly two decades a non-profit organization in Floyd County has been repairing the homes of low-income families. At times, the work done by Hand in Hand Ministries is the difference between a family having a home or becoming homeless.
The Book of Mark says love your neighbor as yourself, and that is what Hand in Hand Ministries at the Auxier Center is doing by helping those who have fallen on hard times.
"Most people living on a fixed income barely survive month to month. If something tears up in their house they can't afford to fix it," said Hand in Hand Ministries Director Gail Spradlin. "The couple that lives here are elderly and have health issues."
Over time, something such as a leaky roof can cause irreversible damage.
"The walls are molded. The floors are just, they're on the ground. They've got holes in there. They're walking on just carpet. There's no flooring or subflooring or anything like that underneath it," said Spradlin, pointing. "This wouldn't have lasted another winter."
The damage could put the couple, who lived there for nearly 20 years, out in the cold.
"Well, they had condemned their home. So they wouldn't have had anywhere to live," said Spradlin.
The work Spradlin is doing is not just cosmetic work. It is more than just a coat of paint and a few nails. It is a major overhaul, but she does not do it alone.
"I have somebody from Lousiville, Kentucky. I have a crew here from Brandenburg, Kentucky," said Spradlin. "They have all come to volunteer their time. Took time off from their work, away from their families, just to come here and make a difference in somebody else's life."
The volunteers with Hand in Hand Ministries come from miles to help people they don't even know. Why? Because they feel that it is their calling.
"It's the sacrifice that God talks about in the Bible. To put others before yourself," said volunteer Michael Cadreau as he choked back tears. "Some of us have been here. So it's only right to give back."
The volunteers want to give back by being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
"Once we got saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit, you feel that unconditional love and you want everybody else to feel that same love," said Cadreau.
All the volunteers say they believe they are not only rebuilding homes but are rebuilding lives.
If you would like to get involved with Hand in Hand Ministries, you can go to the office at 21 South River Street in Auxier or message the ministry on Facebook.