Two decades of wear and tear took their toll on one D.C. couple's home. But living on a fixed income, they couldn't afford the long list of repairs.
Kenneth Vailes, the homeowner, says he knew he needed to find an immediate solution to his home repair needs when he saw sparks coming from a socket.
He didn't go the traditional route. He wrote a letter explaining his situation to the local home improvement company, Michael & Son Services.
"They just come out of nowhere and said okay we'll help you," Vailes says.
Six-months ago, the group launched its own non-profit program, giving back to the community it works with, by offering free services to those in need.
"On a large scale, we're probably helping as many as 15 to 20 families a year," says Basim Mansour, owner of Michael & Son Services. "We've replaced roofs, we've replaced windows, air-conditioning systems."
In one southeast home---about $6,000 worth of repairs took place in almost every room.
"The toilet was running and it wasn't handicap accessible, so we put a handicap accessible toilet," Mansour says. "We also went through and did an inspection of the house and corrected some minor code violations and made sure everything was safe."
Mansour says the water heater was a potential hazard to the homeowners.
"I came out the first time, I noticed that the water heater had an issue with the venting, and it was a gas water heater so it looked like carbon monoxide issues it was having, so it could have been a problem," Mansour says.
But all caught in time, and fixed in a matter of days. And just when the couple thought the repairs were over, they received yet another surprise: A brand new fridge, replacing the one that broke, just as the region begins to feel the heat.