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Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007 02:52 am

Slowly but surely

Effort to repair grandmother’s house inches forward

Untitled Document When Illinois Times first wrote about Dorothy Milford [see “The way back home,” April 5, 2007], this widow raising six grandchildren ages 5 to 13 had already been forced to move twice in less than two years — first due to lead paint found in her own home, and then because of lead paint found in the home she rented. Milford’s youngest grandchildren had been diagnosed with lead poisoning. Recently, Milford was forced to relocate her brood once more, this time because the second house she rented is being torn down to make way for Calvary Baptist’s 25-home Nehemiah project.      Despite all these moves, Milford, age 70, is looking forward to transplanting her family yet again within a few months, this time back into her own South 16th Street home.  
     Since April, a team of volunteers headed by members of Hope Evangelical Church and Bobbie Hahn’s Loving God Out Loud ministry has been working almost every Saturday to rehab Milford’s house. Nick Stojakovich, of Hope Church, calls the project a “labor of love,” completely reliant upon volunteers, gifts, and donations. “We had 25 people show up last Saturday! I was so excited,” he says, listing Cherry Hills Baptist, Waverly First Baptist, Adamski Construction, contractor Kurt Daugherty, and Honey-Do Construction among recent charitable carpenters. “It was really something to behold: Three churches coming together to bless a widow and her six grandchildren,” he says Milford chose a light gray siding, which the team coordinated with a green roof and white trim. The exterior is finished — new siding, soffit, fascia, roof, doors, windows, and a new foundation. Stojakovich says the volunteers are now concentrating on the interior, adding sub-flooring, framing walls, and reconstructing doors. He says he hopes volunteers will rejoin the effort Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Milford knows the house won’t be done quite in time for her to take the grandkids “home” for the holidays, but she isn’t complaining. “Whenever it’s done, I will be very happy and grateful to all the people,” she says. 

Contact Dusty Rhodes at drhodes@illinoistimes.com.
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