Volunteer needed to help make homes hospitable
Do you love to figure out how to seal air drafts in windows and doors with gaskets and caulk? Does it give you joy to figure out what is broken in a home and make recommendations on what needs to be fixed?
Neighbor by Neighbor has an opportunity for you! Both seniors and clients on disability are struggling to keep up with basic home maintenance. As a result, energy bills are high, and old heating and cooling equipment fails often. Drafts can also often be a problem – found coming under doors and through windows, as well as leaking roofs. Neighbor by Neighbor is looking for a volunteer to visit client homes and scope out what needs to be done. If you are willing to do simple repairs that would be a bonus! Contact Peg at 269-225-5792 to discuss this volunteer position.
Neighbor by Neighbor welcomes Meg Smyth, a new service coordinator!
Neighbor by Neighbor would like to introduce you to our new service coordinator, Meg Smyth. Meg comes to us all the way from Wheaton, Illinois, where she last worked as an access control coordinator/dispatcher for a local college. In addition to those skills, Meg brings lots of social media experience including basic graphic design and training in community engagement. She also enjoys communicating and forming relationships with others, and has done so with multiple age groups. She even worked as intern as a director of development for a PreK-8 school. In her spare time, Meg loves to spend time with her husband, Dan, and their two cats, Addie and Bailey.
Meg is here to help with food, energy efficiency, home repairs and more. Call Meg if you need help at 269-206-9340.
Neighbor by Neighbor partners with clients to become more energy efficient
When thinking of energy efficiency, the first thoughts that come to mind are often “going green” or “saving the environment”, and while it is true that energy efficiency will achieve those goals, Neighbor by Neighbor has discovered an added benefit: cost reduction. In order to help our clients save more money on their energy bills, Neighbor by Neighbor has started to perform Virtual Energy Audits over the phone. In about 30 minutes, we ask clients questions about their homes like: “do you have any air leaks in your home?” or “What percentage of your lightbulbs are energy efficient?” This last question is going to help one of our clients out greatly. We discovered that all but six of his lightbulbs were LEDS (energy efficient bulbs). Thankfully, Neighbor by Neighbor has a surplus of LED bulbs, that we were able to give this gentleman the final six bulbs he needed. It is estimated that this client will save $90 a year, just by replacing them. That is almost a week’s worth of groceries! If you are curious about the audit process, go to https://electricideas.com/at-home/rebates/online-energy-checkup-michigan/?utm_campaign=I%26M%20-%20Email%20-%202022-04-21%20-%20OEC%20-%204%2Byr%20d4-21&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=AEP_Eloqua
Neighbor by Neighbor cultivates financial responsibility
According to an article by CNBC, the average household in the state of Michigan accumulates about $5,399 in debt. That being said, one wonders how much of this debt could have been avoided if the people involved had been taught how to handle their money properly. Neighbor by Neighbor staff member, Linnea Berg, wants to help our clients achieve financial stability, so they do not fall victim to this $5,399. In an effort to teach our clients to be more financially responsible, Linnea has started to teach financial literacy classes to our Sponsor a Neighbor clients. In order to have their monthly electric bill paid, clients must attend two workshops that cover a variety of financial topics. Linnea held her first class on May 19 at the New Buffalo Library and had a total of five participants. Linnea covered topics like “what are necessities versus wants” and “different methods of budgeting”. Ultimately, Neighbor by Neighbor hopes that these lessons will help our clients reach financial stability and independence. Linnea will be hosting the second part of the two-part workshop at the New Buffalo Library at 1:30pm on June 2nd in the Pokagon room.
2 Clients Awarded Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis Grants
Once a year, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis invites low-income people to apply for grants up to $7,000 for major home repairs. Horizon Bank is the local representative in the application process. Both NbyN clients who applied received grants, one for a new roof and the other for a new furnace. Both households are seniors living on fixed incomes with no margin in their budgets for major repairs. We are grateful for this partnership with Horizon Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis for the difference they are making for our clients.