CLEVELAND - At 88 years old, Gloria Harris loves her Cleveland home of more than 40 years, but time has taken its toll on the exterior of her house.
However, Harris can do nothing but smile after she was just told she qualified for a Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity home renovation grant. The grants are being issued to 13 homeowners on Colfax Road on Cleveland's east side, as part of a comprehensive plan to upgrade the entire neighborhood.
The Harris home will be given a landscaping upgrade, have the back porch painted and have its front fence repaired by Habitat volunteers.
"Everything is running down and my income is very small," Harris said. "I've been working for years trying to keep it up, but now it's kind of decaying on me. I just need some help with it."
The plan to upgrade the Colfax Road neighborhood also includes the complete renovation of six vacant homes on the street, houses that will be turned over the needy families over the next several months.
NewsChannel5 Building Better Neighborhoods volunteers are also part of the Habitat street renovation effort, helping with home improvements back on April 12 . Building Better Neighborhoods will be back on the scene on July 7.
Habitat project leader Cody Carlisle is pleased with the ongoing neighborhood progress being made.
"We're so excited to be a part of what's going on in the city of Cleveland and how far we've come on the street since the last time we met," Carlisle said. "We do appreciate the work that you guys did."
Residents like Harris also appreciate Habitat's massive neighborhood renovation.
"I think it's very nice, they're looking out for this neighborhood really well. They really are and we appreciate it. I know I do," said Harris with a smile.
Residents interested in donating, volunteering, or applying for housing, can call Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity or sign up on the Habitat website.
Volunteer programs manager Kim Pride told NewsChannel5 Habitat is interested in volunteers in all age ranges and skill levels.
"We have volunteer orientation sessions twice a month, they are typically held during the day or on Saturdays," explained Pride. "We use volunteers not only for renovations, but also in our fabulous restore, and also in our office."
5 On Your Side is also trying help improve neighborhoods, and fight back against a growing number of vacant homes, through our Building Better Neighborhoods initiative.
Residents can also report vacant homes by sending us pictures and information on condemned properties in our neighborhood, and we'll forward the information to your city building department in an effort to move the properties to progress.
More information on how residents can volunteer in their neighborhoods and make them better can be found by contacting Hands on Northeast Ohio.