A Brush with Kindness


If you currently own a home that needs minor exterior repairs and enhancements, you may be eligible for the Habitat for Humanity “A Brush with Kindness” (ABWK). Oneida County Habitat offers this program to qualified homeowners in Oneida County who are willing to partner with us and our volunteers to improve their home’s exterior presentation.

ABWK is part of Habitat’s broader community development strategy called the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. NRI is designed to pursue Habitat for Humanity’s strategic imperative of helping to transform and strengthen communities so that those who reside in them will be able to live and grow into all that God intends for them.

What ABWK does:

ABWK helps low-income homeowners who struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes, allowing them to reclaim their homes with pride and dignity. ABWK volunteers use donations to help people in restoring their homes through simple acts of kindness so that homeowners can once again live in a safe and decent home.

Eligible repairs include pressure washing, painting, caulking, minor soffit/fascia repair, yard clean-up and landscaping, fixing broken windows/doors, replacing loose siding, as well as safety and home accessibility upgrades like wheelchair ramps and sustainable gardens though our Habitat Harvest youth program.

We do not do critical repairs such as roof repairs or replacement, foundation repair, mold removal, and other extensive work.


Who ABWK helps:

ABWK eases wary homeowner concerns by providing home preservation services that are sensitive to homeowner circumstances. Eligible candidates are:

  • Homeowners who are living in their home full time – we don’t work with landlords.
  • People with unsafe living conditions in their home.
  • People forced to choose between necessities like food, medicine, taxes, utilities and home maintenance.
  • People facing a city code violation or insurance policy cancellation due.
  • Many ABWK clients are either single parents, elderly, people with disabilities or Veterans.
  • Many ABWK applicants have worked for years maintain their homes and now find themselves in an awkward and sometimes embarrassing position or asking for help.

Why ABWK matters:

A Brush with Kindness ensures that families live in safe and well-maintained homes. The program is designed to revitalize the appearance of the neighborhood, encourage connections within the community, and most importantly, help preserve affordable housing stock.


Need repairs to your home?

The first step is to complete an application, which will help determine your next step for a Habitat home repairs. Download and fill this application out if you are a homeowner in need of repairs.

Please mail or drop off all applications to 494 French Rd. Utica, NY 13502. Or download and email your application to info@oneidacountyhabitat.org  Applications WILL NOT be returned.

Download (PDF, 420KB)



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