Doris is a retired nurse who has lived in her home in Greenwood, Mississippi for 42 years. When USDA Rural Development (RD) and the Delta Design Build Workshop (Delta DB) visited her in late January 2022, her home’s kitchen ceiling beam sagged down so low that she could touch it while standing on her slanted floor. Her roof had holes and was deteriorating, walls were separating, and floors were sagging. Water had leaked through the roof, and other factors contributed to the house’s structural problems.
The house needed major repairs, much more work than her fixed income could afford.
“My sister and my children have said, mom, just leave the house, they don’t understand,” Doris said. “I don’t want to leave my home and start over at 72 years old.”
Luckily, with the help of Delta DB, and RD’s Housing Preservation Grant, (HPG), Doris wouldn’t have to start over. Delta DB worked with Doris to apply for HPG funds to repair what her income could not support.
When construction on the roof took place in August 2022, construction workers were amazed by what they saw. Dontavius McLemore had been with Delta DB for nearly six years before meeting Doris.
“The roof was 12 layers of shingles in some spots. They just covered problems with more layers. It looked like a club sandwich,” McLemore said. “The last workers did her wrong; I’m so happy we’re coming in and doing it right.”
Doris said, “I’m blessed and thankful. I knew the roof was bad, but I had no idea it extended that deep. You just don’t know; it makes me want to cry.”
With Delta DB making such major repairs to her home, Doris said the best thing about the construction would be the peace of mind it would bring her.
“My greatest joy is that I don’t have to worry if I’m not home when it rains. That was my major concern,” Doris said. “I had to put down buckets and it still didn’t catch it all. My floors have rotted out because of the rain. Now, when I see the forecast, I don’t have to think ‘oh God no, it’s going to rain.’ The stress, the anxiety, whenever it rained or was forecast to rain; losing that is the best part.”