Home Repair Program Helps Older St. Louisans Remain in Their Homes

Mission: St. Louis wants to break the cycle of poverty in St. Louis–and they believe keeping older adults in their homes and neighborhoods is a key element of that work. But helping older St. Louisans remain in their homes can be a challenge. The city has an aging housing stock and 85 percent of older residents face a high housing cost burden, meaning owning and maintaining their home requires more than 30 percent of their income.

The organization’s Home Repair Program provides the repairs and home modifications needed to help older adults continue living safely in their homes. They install grab bars, fix plumbing, put in window AC units, install new locks and security lighting, complete weatherization projects, and more. They also help connect residents to other services, like food programs and legal services, if needed.

With funding from Next50 Initiative, Mission St. Louis was able to more than double its capacity, completing 2,978 home repair projects for 198 older adults. In addition to expanding their team dedicated to home repairs, a new work van and project management software helped make the team more efficient.

“…You trusted us and just gave us the funds and said, ‘go do good work’,” said Todd Martin, director of the Home Repair Program. “And we really take that seriously and really wanted to be good stewards. Even through small stories, you can really see the impact that you’ve had on our organization, on this team, but much more so on the city as a whole.”

To read this and other stories of how Next50 Initiative grant dollars had a positive impact on older adults in 2022, please visit our 2022 Impact Report.

Mary Bobo, a client of Mission: St Louis, had new handrails installed on her front steps by the Home Repair Team. Repairs and home modifications completed by Mission: St. Louis help area residents remain independent in their own homes. Photo: Colleen O’Connell Smyth, Mission: St. Louis