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Homeowners receive much needed home repairs thanks to United Way and partners 

September 27, 2023

As part of United Way of Northeast Florida’s $1 million affordable housing investment announced in January, home repair work started this spring on several houses in two Jacksonville historic neighborhoods, North Riverside and the Eastside.

North Riverside homeowner Chinchilla Smart was one of the first people to see work on her home. Chinchilla’s home was in need of a re-roof, and her AC needed replacement, as it was not cooling or draining properly. 

Homeowner Chinchilla Smart, second from right, with Groundwork Jacksonville team members Gloria McNair and Dylan Ford, and volunteer Roy Brown.

Chinchilla’s new “cool roof” keeps her home cooler and allows her new AC to run efficiently. Moreover, her home was fitted with rain gutters and barrels since her property is flood prone, alleviating flooding and water runoff. The rain barrels will also capture about 55 gallons of rainwater that will be used to water her vegetable garden and house plants. United Way is grateful for our partnerships in this work happening through the North Riverside Home Repair Program. Partners include Groundwork Jacksonville, Groundwork USA, LISC Jacksonville and the North Riverside Community Development Corporation (CDC).

Meanwhile, on the Historic Eastside, homeowner John Williams shared how grateful he was to have the ability to stay in his historic 1902 home thanks to some much-needed repairs. Repairs on his home, which hasn’t had much work done on the structure since the 1920s, he said, included a new roof, renovated bathroom and the first shower ever installed in the home. United Way is also grateful for the partners in the Eastside’s Restore & Repair home improvement program, which includes the Historic Eastside CDC, LiftJax, LISC Jacksonville and JEA.

Homeowner John Williams, second from left, with (left to right) United Way’s Vice President of Community Impact James Ellout, contractor Jerome Crawford, United Way’s President and CEO Melanie Patz and Calvin Council, colleague of Mr. Crawford.

This important work to preserve homeownership will help hardworking families save money and allow them to stay in their beloved historic homes. When you give to United Way, you make initiatives like this possible, changing local families’ lives indefinitely. Thank you for supporting United Way.