Lending a hand

FiveCAP weatherization program construction crew reaches out

LAKE COUNTY — Helping others is an award in itself. Sometimes, staff members at FiveCAP, Inc., get to see touching stories unfold and take part in exceptionally heartwarming experiences.

FiveCAP Housing Director Marisela Lugo makes sure everything falls in place for eligible applicants for FiveCAP’s weatherization program, a service to eligible clients to make homes energy-efficient, thus saving on utility costs.

During May, she wanted to make sure a recently approved client for weatherization from Lake County was taken care of, because of the grant ending on June 30.

“At first, the client seemed really excited to be approved, but follow-up calls from FiveCAP were not answered,” Lugo said.

When the Weatherization Energy Auditor stopped at the client’s home twice, there was still no answer. Lugo decided to call, thinking if he recognized the number, he’d answer. The calls would just go to voicemail.

After trying to contact the man several more times without success, Lugo and the Weatherization Energy Auditor thought maybe the client changed his mind and didn’t want the work done. However, this didn’t make sense to Lugo, because he went through the process of applying and getting all the documents needed for the weatherization service.

Lugo decided to try calling another time. The client answered immediately and explained he had a stroke and lay in his house four days before someone found him.

Discussing the ordeal with the crew, Lugo issued the job to Big K Construction. It was mentioned more should be done to check up on people in such scenarios, because sometimes people do ignore calls, but there’s always a chance something is wrong.

Lugo also relayed same to the contractor how that the client wanted to replace his roof with aluminum before he became ill, and purchased materials whenever he got extra money. He had already replaced a small section of the roof.

“The Big K Construction crew are amazing – really nice guys,” Lugo said, explaining how in short order, the crew went on their own time and installed the new roof for him.

“We always get stories like this. But this is a heartwarming example of caring for others. They don’t do the work just for the job – but they really care and try to do well when they are weatherizing a home,” Lugo said.