Purchase photos

Creating a habitat with paint

6/25/2014

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Habitat for Humanity is performing brush strokes on houses needing slight touch-ups with its new program Brush with Kindness.

The program focuses on external fixes such as gutter cleaning, downspout repair, trimming bushes and drainage. Homeowners must meet certain income restrictions and agree to help with "sweat equity," said Carolyn States, Habitat for Humanity board co-president.

This is the first summer for the new program, and States decided to implement the program after learning about it at a Habitat for Humanity workshop in Kansas City.

"I came back all enthused about it," she said. "We had just finished our third house in Hays and were looking for a place to build a house. I came back with this idea for the program, we discussed it and thought this would be a good way to get more involved in the community."

Each house should take no more than two days to complete.

"Brush with Kindness is set up to help people with exterior stuff, which may not seem like a big deal," said Kris Munsch, construction chairman who is living in his 50th renovated house. "Those types of things may not seem like a big deal. But in the long run, they are a very big deal."

Moisture causes the biggest problems with houses, Munsch said, and the program aims to stop potential problems before they start.

"Poor drainage leads to foundation problems," Munsch said. "Not caulking windows could lead to mold. This will help save money in the long-run."

The Habitat for Humanity Board is sifting through applications to find the first house for the program. The renovations are set to take place within the next couple of months.

"I'm excited about a Brush with Kindness because we can serve more families," States said. "This way we can be more effective and visible in the community of Ellis County."