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Lebanon resident Blake Roberts says his life has been ‘elevated,’ thanks to a new citywide program entitled Elevate Lebanon. The program, a partnership between Habitat for Humanity Boone County and the City of Lebanon, kicked off in 2023 with Roberts being the first recipient. Elevate Lebanon is aimed at homeowners, in owner-occupied homes, that wish to improve their quality of life. While there is an application to fill out, and criteria to meet, Roberts says it’s well worth it.
“What was done is just incredible,” said Lebanon Resident Blake Roberts. “I would not be where I am without its having been done already. It was so unsafe to use my front stoop. I fell a couple times trying to go up the stairs. What I ended up with here is so nice and functional. Total functionality.”
“The difference I see in him from day one until now is just this increased pride in home ownership,” said Habitat for Humanity of Boone County Executive Director Liz Qua. “That is what we want. We want that beautification; we want that feeling of security that you get in your house when you have a safe place to be. That was our whole goal, so Blake just exemplified all of that, so we are super excited.”
“In terms of benefits to the community, I think it is huge,” said City of Lebanon Planning Director Ben Bontrager. “Habitat has recognized that there is a significant need in our community, both for additional housing, but also to help some of our existing residents. Maybe they have got windows that are broken and so their house isn’t secure in the wintertime. Maybe they’ve got gutters that have fallen off, and there are challenges there. Maybe it is just an older couple that now has walkers, and their sidewalk is broken up and they can’t get out to their car. We worked with Habitat to come up with a program, this Elevate Lebanon program, so that we can help those folks, and help them make those improvements to their property and improve their lives. We have been able to take some of the dollars that we have from the city, reinvest those into our neighborhoods and people’s lives that need help. We think this is a huge benefit.”
“I am super proud of our team for being able to do this,” added Qua. “I am so beyond excited about our partnership with Lebanon. Just the amount of change we can make here in the community is amazing!”
“I have been elevated. How could you not when you experience something like this?” said Roberts. “It gives me hope for mankind, to say the least. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for having this to be able to be accomplished on my house. I think, ‘Why me? Why am I so fortunate to have this happen to me?’ My advice and my hope and my encouragement would be that anybody that would take the time to put in an application and talk to these people, will be very excited with the potential outcome of having things done that would be an improvement to their life, and to the community.”
For more information about Elevate Lebanon, visit the website: https://lebanon.in.gov/elevatelebanon/