Last month Lower Lights Ministries, a nonprofit organization in Franklinton that helps at-risk women, was facing a potentially expensive crisis when a major sewer problem occurred.
That’s when McAtee Plumbing, Heating and Air came to the rescue, getting the problem fixed at no cost to Lower Lights.
“My family has financially supported Lower Lights for many years and volunteer at the properties,” said Chris Hanes of McAtee Plumbing. “This industry can be trying, and stressful at times, but things like this make it all worthwhile.”
The six-inch sewer line was broken and clogged at the Rachel’s House, which provides housing for women just released from prison. The damage sewer line would have cost the nonprofit organization at $3,000, which it did not have in the budget, said Jan Ruark, CEO of Lower Lights.
Founded in 1991, Lower Lights Ministries has provided housing for 234 individuals, including at-risk women and their families, since 2002. The nonprofit operates in the Franklinton neighborhood.
Two-thirds of previously incarcerated women will return to prison within three years, according to the nonprofit, but 85 percent of female ex-offenders who participated in Lower Lights’ program have not returned to prison with 76 percent of mothers returning to their children.
The sewer line damage would have forced women living at the property to leave the house. But when Hanes heard about the issue he reached out to HomeServe, an independent provider of home repair services. It serves more than 4 million homeowners in the United States and Canada.
“Many homeowners are unaware of what their responsibilities are regarding the maintenance and repair of their water and sewer laterals. For example, many homeowners assume their local utility covers the water pipe that runs from the street to their home,” the company stated on its website. “Typically, this is not the case. If a service line breaks the homeowner is responsible for the repairs, which could range from $3,000 to $10,000 or more.”
McAtee partners with HomeServe as one of its contractors. Hanes contacted the organization and through its foundation provided the funds to repair the service line at no cost.
“It is hard to find the words to thank everyone at Home Serve for their generous gift of new sewer lines at one of our properties. People around here are still shaking their heads and saying, ‘did you hear?’ It’s a real miracle for us,” Ruark said.
The sewer line work was completed within five days.
Only 40 percent of Americans said they would be able to pay for a $1,000 unplanned expense — such as unexpected home repair, according to Bankrate’s financial security index for this year.