Partnership providing repairs to area homes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 1, 2002

Volunteer Mack Simpson holds the ladder for Mike Thomas as he paints the trim of Minnie Meeks’ home on Marcus Street Wednesday. Painting the porch is Oliver Joseph with Harris Construction of Greenville. (The Vicksburg Post/Melanie Duncan)

[08/1/02]Minnie Meeks, 84, will now be able to do the simple things, like maneuver through her house with ease in a wheelchair thanks to a community partnership.

“These doors have never been big enough,” Meeks said, who has been bound to a wheelchair since losing both her legs 10 years ago due to poor blood circulation.

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Meeks’ home is undergoing repairs to the outside of the house, widening of the doors, new windows and paint.

“I could just jump out of this bed I feel so well,” Meeks said after Cheryl Comans, customer service manager for Entergy, told her the weatherization done on her home will save money on her electric bill.

“I’m just so glad they are here,” she said.

Local businesses and area agencies formed the partnership to help repair low income homes and renovate homes to make them handicapped accessible.

Taking part in the effort with local businesses are the Vicksburg Neighborhood Community Assistance Program (VNAP), United Way, Warren-Washington-Issaquena-Sharkey Community Action Agency Inc. (WWISCAA) and Division of Community Services, Mississippi Department of Human Services.

The partnership plans to repair 10 houses this year at a total cost of $5,400 per home.

Gertrude Young, North Ward Alderman, said VNAP was created in 1997 to provide better living conditions for the elderly, train youth in carpentry skills and beautify neighborhoods.

Mack Simpson, 17, said he has learned a lot about carpentry and painting through the program.

Robbie Meeks, Minnie Meeks’ daughter, said she applied to WWISCAA to help make repairs to her mother’s home and the crew showed up this week and started working.

“We only had the funds to put in new windows,” WWISCAA Executive Director Jean-Marie Hill said, “All the programs pulling together is what made this possible.”

To make donations or volunteer to help the program, contact VNAP president Annie Jenkins at 630-3657.