Portsmouth City Council voted Monday night to contribute $7,500 to the Reach Mission Home Rehabilitation Project. Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison is thoroughly familiar with the work of the group.
“I’ve been involved with the work of the program for 30 years,” Raison said. “I was involved as a young person, so I know the impact it has on the young people and I’ve been involved for many years on the other side, working with communities to bring them to town to do projects in their communities.”
Raison said the rehab project has worked in the City of Portsmouth a number of times in the past and was not scheduled to be in Portsmouth this year, but the community they were scheduled to work in, located in Kentucky, backed down, making it possible for the group to come to Portsmouth.
“It really is tremendous. There will be some 250 people in town, staying in Portsmouth City Schools,” Raison said. “Portsmouth City Schools thought it was a great idea. They were on board right from the very beginning to partner with us.”
Raison said the group works to improve and perform maintenance on houses, including owner-occupied dwellings.
“I talked to a gentleman the other day on Sixth Street. He’s retired. His home is very nice. His roof leaks. He has had it patched several times. He cannot afford to put a new roof on his house,” Raison said. “This program will be able to go in and put a new roof on his house.”
The ordinance passed by a 4-1 vote with Sixth Ward Councilman Tom Lowe casting the lone dissenting vote.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.