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Nehemiah Initiative volunteers fix up Altus home

Published: May. 21, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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ALTUS, Okla. (KSWO) - An Altus family is celebrating some major renovations to their home thanks to volunteer work by a group called the Nehemiah Initiative.

The group’s mission is to restore homes, hopes and hearts in the Altus community. They do that by holding days of service roughly every six months to fix up a home for a family in need.

“I personally believe that this can be generational changing,” said Justin Helin, President of the Nehemiah Initiative.

That change doesn’t come without hard work.

“There were problems with windows where air and rain could get in and specifically one of the floor ground-level windows was broken so water was getting into the basement and destroyed all the property in the basement. That was something we needed to address. The back door we found out was needing to be replaced,” Helin said.

After that, around 2,000 pounds of trees and branches were removed from the property.

“A grandmother owns this home, she came to us and said I want to help out my granddaughter and her boyfriend. They’re there, they have a young child and really it’s going to set things in a more positive light for that child growing up,” Helin said.

Altus City Manager Gary Jones said he was pleased to see the citizens of Altus volunteering to come together to support their neighbors.

“I think what it says is people care. They care about each other, they care about our city, they want the city to do better and instead of just talking about it, they’re actually going out there and doing things to make it better,” Jones said.

And now that the work is done, Helin says the property is certainly much better.

“This property just like any that we do major work on you need to look at the before pictures because it looks so different. Generally speaking, you’ve got this feeling of dark and dingy and cluttered and then it’s like the sun is shining through and you can see everything now,” Helin said.

If you’re interested in learning more about the next volunteer opportunity, you can visit Nehemiah Initiative on Facebook.

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