One of our favorite things to do at Dunn Lumber is feature our customers who are giving back to their communities. We recently collaborated with Habitat For Humanity Seattle-King County on a home repair for a family in need. Today, we’re welcoming Kristina Struve Copley, Habitat’s repair program manager, to tell you a little more about the project. Take it away, Kristina!

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is to create “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Known for building new homes for underserved families, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County (Habitat SKC) also has a decade-long track record of home preservation and neighborhood revitalization in communities that face severe shortages of housing accessible to low-income families and challenges for low-income homeowners who want to remain in their homes and communities. The organization has completed critical repairs that keep struggling homeowners—particularly senior citizens—in their homes, which prevents the displacement of low-income people, alleviates critical health and safety issues, and preserves the long-term stability of families and communities. It’s through Habitat SKC’s Repair Program—in which qualifying homeowners can receive repairs to their roofs, gutters, siding, and more—that these critical issues are addressed.

Through a proven model of creating and supporting homeownership for low-income households, Habitat SKC prepares families and communities for financial success and stability through programs that help individuals purchase, preserve, and keep affordable homes. Since 1986, Habitat SKC has built, renovated, and repaired 592 homes in King County, sheltering nearly 2,000 people. In 2019, we served 150 new individualsincluding 60 children, 22 seniors, five veterans, and eight homeowners with disabilities—through the completion of 52 housing solutions around the county.

One such homeowner we’ve worked with is Linda Combs. Last fall, it became apparent that Linda needed a ramp to safely access her home. After months of dealing with health issues, including liver failure and a cancer diagnosis, she and her family reached out to Habitat for Humanity SKC to request a ramp installation. Linda and her husband, Alan, have lived in Auburn for 30 years, raising three children—two of whom still live nearby and help with the upkeep of their parents’ home. Before finding Habitat SKC, the Combs children had reached out to a few contractors to see what it would take to build a ramp for their mother, but they found the project would cost more than they could manage. Not only did the porch need to be replaced in order to make the ramp installation feasible, but the driveway would also need to be paved to allow better access to the ramp. The existing driveway was gravel, and Linda’s walker would get caught in the small stones while going from the car to the porch. When Habitat SKC’s repair team met the Combs family, they realized the house also needed a new roof, new gutters, and a tree removed that was encroaching on the foundation and skirting of the home.  

Due to the extensive scope of the project, Habitat SKC knew the only way to address each of the home’s needs would be through partnerships. The cost of materials alone would be significant based on the size of the ramp and deck: The ramp would need to be at least 45’ long in order to comply with ADA standards for safe ramp installation.  

For the ramp, Habitat turned to the Master Builders Association’s Rampathon program and Dunn Lumber as possible partners, and the wheels were set in motion. Dunn contributed a generous donation of lumber and materials, making it possible for Habitat SKC to provide the Combs family with a safe and stable way for Linda to access her home. For the roof repair, Habitat SKC partnered with GAF, which donated the shingle material, and Chase Construction NW, which donated the labor for the installation. We’re so thankful to all of our building partners for helping us make this project happen, and we can’t wait to see how Linda adjusts to her new, functional home!

We at Dunn Lumber are proud to have been a part of this project that allowed a family in need to stay in their home. We’d like to extend a big thanks to Habitat SKC for thinking of us and allowing us to contribute to this wonderful cause. For more information on home repairs for those in need, check out some of the profiles on our past Rampathon partners, such as Carlisle Classic Homes, Chermak Construction, and Tenhulzen Residential.