Partnering with Neighborhood Service Organization to Serve Senior Citizens

Neighborhood Service Organization provides a wide variety of services to the community, including youth workforce development, early childhood educational support, and support for people living with mental illness. When our volunteers work with NSO, they help senior citizens with home repairs and yard maintenance.

This past week at NSO, our volunteers worked on a variety of projects for seniors in the community.

One of our homeowners, a senior who lives alone with her dog, had 16 volunteers working inside and outside her home. She had her kitchen scrubbed and prepped for painting, her lawn mowed and weeds pulled, her garden tilled and planted (seeds and flowers), her dog washed (her name is Friday and she is a great dog!) and her items that were damaged and displaced from flooding organized.

Another homeowner was having an emergency situation, and volunteers were able to help her avoid an eviction. She has hoarding tendencies, and has been working with NSO for a few months. She was praying for help. She had an inspection (after she had received a 60-day extension from her last inspection) and the inspector told her she had until 4 p.m. to get her house cleaned or she was at risk of being evicted. Volunteers loaded up bags, boxes, and furniture that she sorted through and dropped off at the Salvation Army. Volunteers also washed dishes, swept and mopped the floor, scrubbed the bathroom, took out trash, cleaned the oven, reorganized furniture, and organized the basement. The inspector said "This looks much better" and the homeowner passed her inspection.

One homeowner was a senior who has called NSO repeatedly for lawn care had six volunteers at his house. He was at risk of a break-in because his yard was overgrown, the paint on his house peeling, and the weeds along his fence were high. He told us that he did not feel safe in his home because it looked abandoned and he could not afford to have someone clean it up. He also has an awning over his side door that has been leaking water. In the winter this freezes, causing him to slip and fall in the past. One Motown Mission volunteer inspected the gutters and found that they were completed blocked by debris (some plants were even growing inside) and that was what was causing the leak. Volunteers mowed the lawn, cleared the weeds, scraped the old paint off his doors and painted them, and cleaned the gutters. The homeowner said he has had four neighbors comment on how great his house looks.

The last service project was for a homeowner who is blind and lives with his wife in Northwest Detroit. Six volunteers gave their front and back yard the works: they trimmed the hedges, mowed the grass, cleaned up tree limbs and debris that had fallen from the storm and hedged along the side of the house.

When partnering with NSO, Motown Mission volunteers can make a difference in the lives of elderly members of our community.