Born and raised in Kent County, Mrs. Scott and her husband raised eight daughters locally. Like many senior citizens in the area, she had worked at the Campbell’s Soup poultry processing plant for several years. She then spent 21 years as Cook at the Chestertown jail where she recalls the men would sometimes ask as she was leaving, “when will you make your delicious fried chicken again?”. Mrs. Scott is now a widow and, in addition to her daughters, she relies on her neighbors and local church as she nears 90 and her mobility decreases. One of her daughters worked at the Department of Social Services and knew Rebuilding Together Kent County might be able to help her mom live more safely in her home, avoiding the costly and often isolating transition to an assisted living facility.
Photo: From L to R: Volunteers Lisa Roemer, Scott Brewer (Rebuilding Together Kent County Construction Manager), Candy Tyrell, Rachel Carter, Amy SIne, and Richard Edwards put in an amazing morning of work for an aging neighbor.
In December of 2020, Rebuilding Together Kent County used funds from their US Department of Agriculture Housing Preservation Grant to contract Alex Reyes of Custom Home Services to perform critical repairs to Mrs. Scott’s bathroom. In the course of his work, it came to light that the tub was draining directly into the crawl space and threatening the home’s foundation. After drying out the area, replacing several joists under the floor, and fixing all the plumbing, Alex proceeded to create a beautiful bathroom for Mrs. Scott, complete with new tile, tub, toilet and fixtures.
With the inside hazards addressed, Rebuilding Together Kent County turned to an external challenge. Mrs. Scott’s daughter reported increased anxiety about her ability to get her mother safely in and out of the house for doctors’ appointments and trips to the store. According to the CDC, each year about $50 billion nationwide is spent on medical costs related to non-fatal fall injuries and $754 million is spent related to fatal falls. Statistics also suggest that more than 40% of those who are hospitalized for hip fractures are unable to return home and live independently.
On Saturday, July 17th, volunteers Rachel Carter, Richard Edwards, Lisa Roemer, Amy Sine, and Candy Tyrell worked alongside Rebuilding Together’s Construction Manager, Scott Brewer, from 8:00 am until noon to construct a wheelchair ramp for Mrs. Scott. Despite the high temperatures and humidity, everyone maintained a cheerful, can-do attitude and the crew ended up getting much further than anticipated. In addition to a generous donation of sandwiches, soup, chips and sweets from Germaine’s Uptown Carryout in Chestertown, Mrs. Scott surprised the group with some of her famous fried chicken and sweet tea! Rebuilding Together Kent County is grateful for the support of the community and also wishes to thank Lowe’s Foundation for donating store gift cards that covered all the materials for this ramp project. As Mrs. Scott’s daughter said to Rebuilding Together Kent County staff that morning, “This is more than just getting work done. This is a relationship.”
Rebuilding Together Kent County’s mission is repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives. They leverage gifts of time, money, skill and labor to repair and rehabilitate homes for vulnerable seniors, those living with disabilities, and families with limited resources in Kent County. They are dedicated to ending substandard housing. All work is done at no cost to homeowners who meet the income limits and other criteria. This is an equal opportunity program. Learn more at RebuildingTogetherKCMD.org.