Met Council Program Helps Keep Seniors Warm This Winter
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Margaree Stewart knows her home is well sealed this winter thanks to a special program that offers free winterizing for seniors.
"I don't have money to do it," says Stewart. "I want to keep the house up as long as I am able to and any help I can get, I go for."
Stewart is eligible for a free handyman service offered by the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty that provides simple repairs around the house.
"We help, through our handyman program, winterize people's homes, particularly seniors and those disabled, to make sure windows are caulked up or tape that covers the windows goes on window," explains William Rapfogel of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. "Doors are provided with caulking or tape to make sure air doesn't come through below or on top or the sides of the doors and that we are able to provide what ever it is so that they can survive the winter without great difficulty."
Many seniors physically cannot winterize by themselves and paying someone to come in is not always an option – especially for those on a fixed income. Stewart says this service not only saves her money for the labor, but will add up to big savings in her energy bill.
"I am happy to for this program," says Stewart. "It will save my heating in winter and I won't have to use as much heat because the air is locked out, so I won't have to worry. The service is good because it's free and I can't afford to pay for it and I am glad that someone told me about this program."
In addition to looking out for her financially, the program also checks on her well being.
"When handyman comes in to do repairs they are specifically trained to be able to look at and assess the needs of that senior, whether they need home care food or to be seen by a case worker to see what other types of assistance that they need for help," says Rapfogel.
Thousands of seniors apply for the program directly through the Met Council or through other city agencies. There are so many that there is a waiting list. To qualify you must be over the age of 62 and financially in need to receive assistance.
To find out if you qualify or to be added to the list go to MetCouncil.org or call 212-453-9500 or 311.
Programs like this help seniors remain at home and independent. For Stewart, that warms her home and her heart this winter.