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  • Writer's pictureBob Long

Giving a boost to a DIY-er at heart

Kasandra has no fear of trying new things when it comes to “doing it yourself.” However, at the age of 71, a little bit of help makes a huge difference. Kasandra walks with a cane due to her arthritis and a damaged hand. Her increased mobility restrictions led to her retirement. This makes some things more challenging than others.

Kasandra holding onto her new handrail and her cane.
Kasandra stands outside her front porch. The railing installed by NLI has made it easier and safer for her to navigate the steps.

Kasandra has been in her home for almost 13 years. She retired from IVY Tech in 2013, after a fall that left her with 16 broken bones in her hand. She spent nearly a year rehabbing from that injury. Today, she receives help around the house four hours per day from a CNA, who happens to be her daughter.

Despite her motivation to tackle projects herself, repairs and maintenance on her home often present challenges for Kasandra. Sometimes just diagnosing the cause of the problem is the root issue. Recently, NeighborLink Indianapolis traced the source of a leak in her roof to a bullet hole. Thankfully, NLI was able to replace the affected shingles, a pipe boot and caulk the roof tie-ins. Additionally, NLI also installed a dryer vent under the shingles to avoid additional leakage. Since NLI typically does two projects at a time for a homeowner, Kassandra’s second home repair project this time was building a sturdy handrail that enabled her to have much safer and easier access to and from her front porch.

Kasandra was born and raised in Indianapolis, and has lived most of her life here. During her career she has had a variety of interesting jobs. One of which was working at a leather company that made interiors for automobiles and another was building lighting fixtures with her hands. This may play into her DIY skills.

Family is very important to Kasandra. She has built her family here with six children, 24 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Two of her daughters are CNA’s, and the other is a welder. Her oldest son is a chef, another is a real estate appraiser, and a third is retired from the military. In her free time, when she’s not spending time with her family or working around her house, she enjoys listening to music, watching television and especially what she calls “high stakes card game nights.”

“We get out the quarters and dimes,” Kasandra says with a laugh.

It’s stories like these that fuel why we do what we do at NeighborLink Indianapolis. Helping homeowners age in place, secure their homes, and have the ability to pass down an asset rather than liability to their younger generations is our whole motivation. Kasandra has built a rich and fulfilling life while living in this home. So many of the repairs we do for homeowners are ones that can be done by homeowners when they have the means or physical ability. Does this strike a chord with you? Help us fulfill our mission and serve more homeowners in 2023 through a financial gift or a gift of time with volunteering.

For homeowners like Kasandra, there truly is no place like home.

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