Ms. Jackson is a senior homeowner from Baltimore City who has lived in her current home for over 20 years. In 1995, Ms. Jackson was one of the first people on her street to move back and buy a home in Cherry Hill after having been relocated from her neighborhood. According to her, she was one of the small percentage of displaced families who were able to do so.
Despite having fought to return to the neighborhood, Ms. Jackson started worrying about having to sell her house and move. Her utility bills were increasing every year and, as a low-income senior living alone, she was finding it difficult to make ends meet. “I told one of the ladies up the street from me that I’d have to let my house go and leave,” she said. “And she told me not to, that I’d be the first one from this street to move, and that there was a program instead that could help me.” Ms. Jackson learned about Civic Works Energy Programs from her friend, who had previously participated in the program, and decided to call and explore options to lower her bills.
When Ms. Jackson reached out to Civic Works to express her interest, she spoke with an Energy Advisor who explained the weatherization process to her, scheduled Ms. Jackson for a home energy audit, and made sure she received all the benefits she qualified for. During the audit, the crew identified multiple health and safety issues, with the most significant one being a gas leak. “I have a lot of breathing problems, and I didn’t even know my furnace was leaking gas all these years,” said Ms. Jackson. In addition to the gas leak, Civic Works’ installation team also helped Ms. Jackson with plumbing repairs to eliminate moisture infiltration in the walls and installed a dryer ventilator to safely vent the carbon monoxide outdoors. These measures provided greater ventilation throughout her home, and were critical to preventing carbon monoxide buildup, the backdraft of toxic gasses, and moisture infiltration and mold.
Ms. Jackson had an extremely positive experience with the weatherization. “[The crew] was very good,” she praised, “and I was also happy to see a program that gives young men in the community a second chance.” Previously, Ms. Jackson had to tape up her door with tarp every night to insulate the house. She no longer has to, and says that “I can feel the difference in my house, honest to Lord I can. Everything went beautifully, and I’m satisfied.” Since then, Ms. Jackson has had other neighbors asking about her weatherization, and has promised to refer the program to friends and family.