Nonprofit Helping Elderly Residents Restore Condemned Homes - - No One Gets You Closer

Nonprofit Helping Elderly Residents Restore Condemned Homes

DURANT, OK -- A local nonprofit is stepping in to help elderly residents restore and keep their homes up to the City of Durant's code. 

In June, KTEN told you about the City of Durant condemning homes, at what residents say is a 'rapid rate'. The city has been tagging homes that are no longer deemed safe to live in and giving residents allotted time to make the needed repairs, before they need to be torn down. 

And while they have the chance to fix the repairs, most elderly residents can't physically or financially restore the homes alone. Leaving some of them homeless. But now a nonprofit organization is stepping in to help those in need. 

"I'm a veteran, but not service connected and the military in this area helps veterans quite a bit," said George Howard, who's home is benefiting from the group.

Howard says staying in the Durant area is very important to him. His daughter bought this home for him 11 years ago. And he says even back then, it was in need of many repairs.  

"I happen to be tagged by the city because my yard," said Howard. "I live alone and my yard was kind of a mess." 

Howard says he had the necessary materials to fix those repairs, but couldn't find the labor. So he went to the city for help. 

"They referred this organization that was starting out," he said, "that helps retired and disabled elderly folks to save and keep their homes." 

That new nonprofit organization is called The Durant Restore and Preserve Association. The founder Terri Weir and her husband moved into downtown Durant about a year ago. 

"We noticed some of the houses weren't in as good of shape as others," Weir said, "but as time has gone by, we started noticing that it's kind of a trend." 

Seeing more and more orange stickers around the city, she met with the code enforcement officer. Weir quickly formed a team and says the projects started lining up right away. 

"A lot of the people just need help with keeping the lawns looking nice," she said, "we're not working on the inside of homes yet. We just don't have the resources, but as much as we can do from the street to help the city."

The work on Howard's home is just beginning. 

"This house is a little more than we would have normally taken on," she said, "but we really wanted to help him."

And Howard says he couldn't be more grateful for their help. 

"Because I wouldn't have been able to do it by myself," he said. "I get winded real quick."

Weir says right now the group is only focused on helping those elderly or disabled residents. She says they're in need of donations and volunteers. You can contact the Durant Restore and Preserve Association through their website, by phone (580) 920-5445, or through the city.