Sleeping in Safety

Vernice’s Street

Sleeping in Safety

At the age of 14, Vernice faced a life-changing event when an electrical fire broke out in her family home, where she lived with her mother. Even after two decades of living in her own home, the memories of that harrowing experience still linger in her mind. 

Now, as a homeowner, she faces new challenges that put her safety at risk. With the need for repairs to the sidewalk, roof leaks, a broken entry door, and faulty electricity, Vernice’s home has become a major source of concern. 

She shared her ordeal, saying, “The lights will just cut off. I hooked up a heater and the lights cut off. I tried to turn them back on, but when you plug something in, something else goes out.”

Homes in this area, and in the Clark Square and Layton Boulevard West neighborhoods, may qualify for the Critical Home Repair Program.

Recently, her son came over to try to help fix the light issue. He found a temporary solution, but the issue came back and Vernice knew that she needed a repair.

Not only were her lights and other appliances not working properly due to the electrical issues, but Vernice was having trouble sleeping due to fear of an electrical fire.

“I’m [unable] to sleep at night without thinking of an electrical fire,” Vernice said. 

Now, Vernice is getting her electrical issues fixed, along with other repairs, through the Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Critical Home Repair Program.

“I knew about [Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity], but I didn’t know they did repairs on other homes,” Vernice said. “I was clicking through the website and [saw that they] offer home repairs.”

Through the program, homeowners are able to get an affordable loan for the repair and up to 80% of the project costs covered based on their income.

“The process was pretty easy,” Vernice said. “It means a lot to me to have a repair done on my house because I couldn’t afford it myself.”

Vernice will not only enjoy a newly constructed sidewalk, a repaired roof, and a new entry door, but she will also be able to rest easy knowing that she is safe from the risk of an electrical fire.

When asked what this repair will mean to Vernice, she replied:

“Safety…Sleeping without jumping up [in fear].”

Help break down the barriers to first-time homeownership for more local families.
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