Second site in Veterans Home Program progressing; applications and donations sought

The second home being developed as part of the new Veterans Homes Program in the City of Taylor is progressing thanks to the efforts of plenty of tremendous contributors, but more are needed. In addition, the City of Taylor is seeking more applications from veterans who are looking for a home.

Early last month, the program awarded its first renovated home, in the 6300 block of Odham, to the Blaine Hicks family. Hicks, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, is a former U.S. Postal Service worker who retired in 1997 due to a heart attack.

The Polk Street home is the next being renovated as part of the program. Contributors to the effort are Al's Asphalt, Clopay Garage Doors, Courtney Painting (John Courtney and Shawn Case), Custom Building (Rob Bartram), Enchanted Makeovers (Terry Grahl), Gerald Smith Electrical (Gerald Smith), Gibbons Home Improvement (Jeremy Gibbons), Masco Cabinetry, Reflections Building (Dan McCulean), Simpson Construction (Scott Simpson), Swanson Construction (Mike Swanson), Wallside Windows and the Michgian Regional Council of Carpenter's.

Applications by qualifying veterans are needed for the new Polk Street home, as well as the entire program as it progresses forward with more homes. Several organizations, centered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4422, the City of Taylor and Home Depot, are at the centerpiece of the campaign, but even more are needed to get the word out that these types of homes are available to veterans.

Applications are easy to get and easy to fill out. They can be picked up at Taylor City Hall during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. In addition, if you'd prefer to receive them in electronic form, just send an email to Communications & Marketing Director Karl Ziomek at kziomek@ci.taylor.mi.us.

Support has taken plenty of different shapes and forms during this campaign. For instance, the Hicks home even had behind-the-scenes supporters who donated things like appliances. Enchanted Makeovers handles much of the decor work from beginning to end, including some painting and pictures that turn the house into a true home.

The Polk Street home has an extremely large backyard, which could be difficult to cut with a regular mower. If company or organization would like to donate some type of riding mower -- whether it is new or used -- the program would be happy to accept it.

Veterans interested in the program should take note of the following stipulation: If you are single and living alone, your annual income must be $22.500 or less. For a two-person household, that number is $25,800; a three-person household is $29,000; four-person $32,200; five-person $34,800; six-person $37,400; seven-person $39,950; and an eight-person household's limit is $42,550.

Former Post 4422 Cmdr. Herman "Butch" Ramik conceived the idea for the program two years ago and worked through Home Depot to get a $20,000 grant.

For further information, contact the Taylor Community Development Office at 1-734-287-6550.