More Chances to Make a Difference

Hammer, nails, hope: Cara Pryor, left, and Emalee Richman, right, from the Home Builders Association of Hendersonville.
Photo by Rachel Pressley

When funding is limited by demographics or red tape, sometimes nonprofit organizations can’t include everyone they wish to serve. It’s an issue for Housing Assistance Corporation, a private nonprofit that helps people of limited income find safe, affordable housing in Henderson County and the surrounding areas. The group also makes renovations through its Home Repair Program.

“A lot of grants that we receive are for a very specific population, like a grant for the elderly,” Home Repair and Volunteer Coordinator Emalee Richman explains. But initiatives like the upcoming Team Day Fundraising Event, set for May 9 at Southern Appalachian Brewery, fill in the gaps.

“It’s monumental,” says Richman. “Because it’s unrestricted, we’re able to help a lot of different families who might not fit into one of the grant categories, or with repairs that don’t fit into a specific guideline.”

The program addresses a multitude of problems that can surface. Volunteers have built relatively straightforward items like wheelchair ramps and have completely renovated homes to bring residences up to code.

“It’s a mix of both — we do everything from [install] one grab bar in a home to a whole house repair and everything in between,” Richman says. Minor plumbing repairs, floor repair, and modifications for fall prevention are common — “anything that is a health risk or safety hazard for individuals who are low to extremely low income.”

The night includes food provided by West First Wood Fired pizza and beer by Southern Appalachian Brewery. Popular jazz and blues singer Peggy Ratusz will provide entertainment. The event is sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Hendersonville (the corporate sponsor is GBS Building Supply).

Last year, the event raised around $3,000 through ticket sales and donations, and this year there will be more opportunities to donate through raffle prizes, Richman says.

“Volunteers are always needed at Housing Assistance,” she adds. “When we have volunteers out in the field helping with these projects, it really demonstrates the root of our mission and shows clients that we as a community care about their wellbeing.”

The Team Day Fundraising Event happens Thursday, May 9, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Southern Appalachian Brewery (822 Locust St., Hendersonville). Tickets are $35. For more information, call Housing Assistance at 828-692-4744 or check

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