COATESVILLE, PA-U.S. Senator Bob Casey today toured a project to repair a home damaged by the Coatesville arsons and awarded Good Works, Inc. with his Pennsylvania Spotlight recognition. The Pennsylvania Spotlight is a recognition initiated by Senator Casey to draw attention to and give thanks to Pennsylvanians who contribute greatly to their communities. Senator Casey was joined by Jim Ford, Founder and Executive Director of Good Works, and Joe Lisowski, Repair Supervisor.
"I would like to commend Good Works, Inc and present them with the Pennsylvania Spotlight to highlight their contributions to help the victims of the Coatesville arsons," said Senator Casey. "Good Works is a great example of the positive impact that we can make in the lives of others."
Good Works Inc. is a non-profit group that is dedicated to improving the living conditions of low-income families.
Good Works Inc. works to transform substandard houses into warmer, safer and drier homes. The repairs they provide include roof repair, plumbing installation and repair, electrical rewiring and code compliance, heating installation and upgrades, insulation and drywall work, and window and floor repair. Their services are offered to homeowners at no cost and volunteers do most of the repairs. Good Works’ services are available to families and individuals who are below 175 percent of the federal poverty level and reside in Chester County.
In 2008, Good Works utilized 1,830 volunteers to work on 50 homes and assist 164 families. Many of these volunteers are retirees, church groups, corporations and students from throughout Chester County. Many projects take beyond one visit to complete. Of those that they have assisted in the past 5 years, 53% live in Coatesville, 49% are elderly and 23% are single parent families with children. The average household income for those served is $16,500.
Earlier this year, city officials in Coatesville declared a state of emergency after a blaze struck 15 row houses, forcing as many as 50 people from their homes. A previous fire, in late 2008, caused the death of an 83-year-old woman. Senator Casey has toured the area, met with victims and local officials and intervened on a federal level to aid in the state’s request for disaster assistance.