Monday, December 8, 2014

Project protects homeowners from hazards

Jericho Road Community Health Center (JRCHC), 184 Barton St., has a new program called Holistic Homes project, which targets household hazards, to make West Side homes safer.

The Holistic Homes Project educates homeowners about lead prevention and other home dangers that pose a risk to residents’ health. Some issues that caseworkers evaluate include pest problems, ventilation issues and fire hazards.

            “We realized that when we were going in homes, we couldn’t ignore other issues and only talk about lead,” said Mary Prentice, program director for the Holistic Homes project.

            Once the deficiencies are located, the landlords or homeowners are connected with agencies to fix the issues.  

The project is largely focused on the Burmese, Karen and Nepali communities on the West Side. Multi-lingual caseworkers follow up weekly with program participants to complete the repair process. JRCHC also has medical staff on hand to test for elevated lead levels in addition to other medical issues related to household hazards.
         The program is a byproduct of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s recent “Wipe Out Lead” campaign, with funding for the project coming from a $3.4 million federal grant aimed at lead remediation. By Taylor Gesel and Nathaniel Smith