BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Driving by dozens of homes on the city’s east side, you’ll spot crowds of teenagers carrying paint brushes, hammers, and brooms.
It looks like your average neighborhood clean-up, but for the neighbors who live here, it’s so much more.
For Brenda Morton, an east side resident for more than forty years, this is a chance to have a brand new porch to relax on this summer; a place to watch her granddaughter play.
Her home is one of 33 getting a face-lift this summer.
It’s part of a program organized through Resurrection Lutheran Ministries and the Group Workcamps Foundation.
Andrew Hallam is from New Jersey. He’s been working on a home on Northampton since Monday,
“It’s in the early stages. We’ve gotten some scrapping done and priming, and even a little painting now. We’re working on it,” he said.
Almost 300 people from around the country are in Buffalo this week fixing up homes that need it.
Homeowners apply through the church and every summer, dozens are selected. 147 homes have been fixed up in the last five years.
“We let the group we work with in the local community select the projects and tell us what needs to be done,” said Scott Spaniol of Group Workcamps Foundation.
For most of these homes, that means replacing lead paint.
“In many cases we’re helping seniors stay in their homes. In some cases we’re helping families that are dealing with young children with lead paint issues re-mediate lead paint here in the city. In some cases we’re dealing with people who are literally thinking I have to leave my home all because I can’t do some basic repairs,” Pastor Gary Steeves of Resurrection Lutheran Church.
Brenda Morton lives on Montana with her daughter and granddaughter. Their home is in fine shape, but their porch has seen better days.
“Over the years it deteriorated,” Morton said.
She applied to be part of this program three years in a row. This year, she finally got picked.
The sidewalks and the street on Montana have been badly neglected; the block needs a lot more work, Morton said.
These volunteers hope their efforts are positive momentum.
Crews started work on Morton’s porch Monday. They’ve got until Friday to get it done.