Volunteers pitch in to help Prospect family

Homeowner Tammy Andrews assists volunteers in repairing her home Saturday in Prospect. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Homeowner Tammy Andrews assists volunteers in repairing her home Saturday in Prospect. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

PROSPECT — Tammy Andrews fell on hard times in 2012 after receiving divorce papers and getting laid off on the same day.

“I gave them my all and they slapped me in the face,” she said.

On Saturday, a nonprofit gave her something else: a helping hand.

HomeFront, a Stamford-based nonprofit organization that provides free repairs to low-income homeowners, helped Andrews with her home that she shares with her daughter, Rose Capece.

Executive Director Sean O’Brien said that the program has repaired about 3,000 homes in its 29 years.

“We do this every year, rain or shine, to help those in need,” O’Brien said.

The organization receives donated supplies from businesses such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams and other companies.

The organization was also in Southbury on Saturday helping Karen Multari, a single mother with four children.

For Andrews and her daughter, their home on Cook Road is in need of multiple repairs but they knew they could not afford it.

“I work seven days a week and sometimes the pay is so bad, I just can’t make it,” Andrews said.

Andrews works as a paraprofessional in the Waterbury school system and as a resident counselor at the Behavioral Health Care Group home. Before that she was a domestic violence counselor for more than 20 years. Capece, 28, works as a service adviser at a local car garage.

Andrews’ mother saw an ad in the local newspaper and alerted her that she could possibly receive help with fixing her home.

After being selected for the renovation, Andrews and her daughter said they were beyond grateful and shocked.

“I was in total disbelief. It’s shocking just to be picked but then to have everyone show up to work in the rain, it’s just amazing,” Capece said.

Volunteers for HomeFront range from faith-based organizations to professional painters and plumbers.

Lee Duprey, a volunteer with the group, said he has been doing it for about six years. He loves giving back to the community, and said that a project from last year left a lasting impression on him.

“We repaired the home of a veteran last year. He had not had hot water in his home for about two years. When it rained, his house flooded. We came in and fixed his home and it moved me to see his joy when it was done,” Duprey said.