City, local groups join forces to help residents in need
By David Brower, Community Development Analyst
When the City of College Station’s Community Services Department is unable to help a citizen in distress, we reach out to other community partners to see if they can help.
Two recent examples show how these partnerships are paying huge dividends in our community.
Recently, an unstable tree was threatening to fall on a home. The owner didn’t have the money to get the tree removed, so the city contacted a local church with a disaster relief ministry. Members of the congregation who had been trained to take down trees removed the dangerous timber at no cost, averting a potential catastrophe.
Another vivid example is a senior woman who lives in a 50-year-old house. Although she’s been diligent in maintaining her home, major systems are failing and need to be replaced. She can’t handle the large expenses on her fixed income, so she contacted the Community Services Department for help.
She qualified for assistance through our Housing Minor Repair Program, and we helped her replace her malfunctioning – and dangerous – electrical breaker box. We also took care of a drainage problem in her backyard.
Then, with temperatures dropping below freezing, her heater suddenly went out, too.
We reached out to an organization called Rebuilding Together Bryan/College Station, which is part of the national Rebuilding Together organization. Founded by Steve Godby, the local chapter serves low-income homeowners who are over the age of 62 or are a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. Families with children under 18 may also qualify.
Rebuilding Together BCS uses a network of business, faith groups, and other nonprofits to supply funds and volunteers for their projects. They immediately provided a space heater and within days raised funds to replace her furnace.
These are just two of many success stories that illustrate how the city takes advantage of our resources through collaborative partnerships to make our community a better place.
For more on the City of College Station’s housing assistance programs, go to cstx.gov/housingassistance.
David Brower has been a community development analyst for the City of College Station since 2008. He is a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M.
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