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“Help for Hire” List offers discounted services to Outagamie Co. seniors

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 4:52 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - As people age it can become harder to live independently, whether due to physical or financial limitations. But one Outagamie County program aims to help by making a variety of home services more accessible to seniors.

Volunteer Fox Cities and Outagamie County’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) offer a “Help for Hire” program which provides a variety of services to seniors at a discounted rate.

“You’ve got some people living on little to no income, some people on very, very fixed income. So when something comes up, and it’s not in their normal budget, we don’t want it to take away some of their other really necessary living expenses,” said Brad Creighton, who’s with Volunteer Fox Cities Community Engagement and Events.

Service providers in the program are compiled into a help for hire list, which includes their name, contact information and details what type of service they provide. Anyone aged 60 or older can contact the ADRC to get a virtual, or physical copy of the list.”

“They can really just have this list to reach out to someone when they need it,” said ADRC Community Support Specialist Emily Murphy. “The services on this help for hire list are everything from companionship to manicures and pedicures to haircuts to home repairs, electrical stuff, plumbing,”

Murphy says she sends it out several times a week. With that much of a need, the more variety on the list the better.

“Really anything you could think of we try to get on this list,” said Murphy.

Right now there are 20 providers on the list, including Mel Johnson who offers a variety of handiwork through the program.

“Some of the things we run into is ‘I can’t reach and change the light bulb anymore, my toilet’s leaking,’” said Johnson. “Plumbers and electricians are busy, and for them to send a crew or someone out there, it’s not really cost effective for them.”

He finds while much of the projects are needed, some clients simply want the company.

“I’m usually there for an hour because we have to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and talk and it’s more about that,” said Johnson. “Having someone come in their house because they have no one else to come in. So that’s enjoyable.”

Volunteer Fox Cities does interview and background check every provider before adding them to the list.

They would like to add more groups to the list. In particular, with winter coming soon, HVAC, plowing, and similar services would be welcome additions. But the more the merrier.

“We would love to talk to you and see if you’d be fit for the list,” said Creighton.

“We need our community member’s help. We need everybody to serve our seniors who are very vulnerable,” said Murphy.

If a service provider is looking to add themselves to the list or learn more, contact Rosemarie Dick with Volunteer Fox Cities by emailing her at rosemarie@volunteerfoxcities.org.

If you are 60 or older living in Outagamie Co. and would like to get a copy of the list, contact the ADRC by calling 920-832-5178 or by emailing adrc@outagamie.org

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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