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DeKalb commissioners approve funding for Decatur MLK Service Project

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DeKalb commissioners approve funding for Decatur MLK Service Project

Volunteer Kyle Ulrich does insulation work at a home on E. Hill Street during the Decatur MLK Service Project on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, at its Sept. 26 meeting, approved $30,000 in funding to go toward the Decatur MLK Service Project. The money will come from District 2 and 6 American Rescue Plan funding.

Each year, the volunteer project aims to help city of Decatur residents and senior homeowners remain safely and comfortably in their homes by providing home maintenance and repair, according to the MLK Service Project website.

“Decatur’s MLK, Jr. Service Project honors the legacy of Dr. King, who worked tirelessly toward a dream of equality, freedom and justice,” the website states. “He encouraged us all to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence to make this country a better place in which to live, creating what he called a ‘Beloved Community.’ Transforming these principles into community action, Decatur’s MLK, Jr. Service Project brings people of all ages and backgrounds together, working toward that goal of ‘Beloved Community.’”

Homeowners who are at least 62 years old may be eligible for assistance with house and yard maintenance and repair, free of charge, through the service project.

“Since 2003, project volunteers have installed handicap ramps, replaced rotten wood, weatherized homes, repaired water damage, and worked with professional partners to do plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work,” the website states. “Other criteria include owning and residing in your home inside Decatur city limits and having a fixed or lower income.”

The MLK Service Project is fundraising in order to replace the roofs on several homes, according to the proposal attached to the BOC agenda.

“Without a sound roof, many of our other efforts will eventually succumb to the ensuing water leakage,” the proposal states. “We have a current estimated backlog of $20,400 for six roofs on homes we’ve worked on. Additionally, we strive to weatherize the homes by blowing in insulation (another professional job) and doing air sealing (volunteers). That runs [around] $1,500 per home, bringing the grand total to just under $30,000.”

The service project is also hosting a Restaurants for Repair event on Oct. 17. A portion of the restaurant’s proceeds will be donated to the MLK Service Project.

“All you do is buy lunch or dinner for you and your family,” a press release says. “The R4R restaurants have committed to supporting the MLK Jr. Service Project since you are supporting their restaurants.”

So far, participating restaurants include Brickstore Pub, Butter & Cream, Chai Pani, Farm Burger, Folk Art, The Imperial, Leon’s Full Service, Mezcalitos, Raging Burrito, Steinbeck’s Ale House, Sushi Avenue, The Marlay House, Twains, Universal Joint and Wahoo.

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