Everyone should have safe, accessible and affordable housing, the cornerstone of healthy, vibrant communities. As we get older, most of us prefer to stay in our homes and continue to be active in our neighborhoods where we have lived and worked, often for decades. Westminster Home Connection makes repairs and mobility modifications to empower older adults to age-in-place. Most of the older adults in the West End Home Foundation grant program live on Social Security. With a median monthly household income of $1,565, they cannot afford home repairs and modifications. Since 2013, Westminster has made over 1,500 homes safer and more functional for almost 2,300 people. West End Home Foundation has supported Westminster in this mission since we began, enabling us to grow and thrive.
Westminster’s top three intended outcomes are:
- Repairs and modifications improve the lives of older adults.
- Repairs and modifications help older adults live in their homes longer.
- Preserving more homes in the affordable housing stock.
WEHF sponsored an Elevate Consulting project for Westminster and other WEHF grantees. During this project, we developed a survey tool to specifically measure the outcomes of our services. In the 22 survey responses to date, our clients rated the impact of our repairs and modifications as a solid five on a scale of one to five. The median time these older adults had lived in their homes was 30 years and they intend to stay home as long as they can!
Ms H certainly intends to stay in her home for the long-term. She cared for her mother in the very same house, but now her home needed a number of electrical and carpentry repairs. Ms H was a special education teacher and a nurse, and a former co-worker referred her to Westminster. In January and February, we fixed multiple GFCIs to avoid electrical shocks, repaired switches and light fixtures. We installed new exterior lights for safety. Ms H. uses a wheelchair to navigate, and we installed new flooring in her bathroom and an ADA toilet. After these repairs, we had exhausted our budget, but it was clear that there was one more mobility modification that would make Ms H truly independent in her home. Her downstairs bathroom had a sink and toilet but no shower at all. West End Home Foundation’s grant provided the $2,100 needed to install a shower. In her own words, she now has “a shower fit for a queen!”
Westminster has participated in the SeniorTrust grant program, receiving $1,000,000 to make over 400 homes safe and functional for 500+ older adults. Westminster gained credibility and long-term relationships from the SeniorTrust project, including stories on Nashville Public Television about housing solutions for older adults.
In addition to the homes Westminster repairs ourselves, we promote a neighbor-helping-neighbor approach to repairs and mobility modifications for aging-in-place. Spreading the Westminster model in middle Tennessee and beyond is our long-term goal. Would you like to volunteer on a weekend construction project or get six or eight friends to build a wheelchair ramp with our supervision? Email us at Info@WestminsterHomeConnection.org. In a day, you can make a difference to an older adult like Ms H in our community.