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Neighborlink 082815It began as an online bulletin board service 12 years ago back when AOL was still a big thing. Several thousand no-cost or low-cost home improvement projects later, Fort Wayne’s NeighborLink is still going strong.

Andrew Hoffman is NeighborLink’s Executive Director, and he says the organization fills the gap among other local charities.

“If you need a home improvement project completed, none of the other non-profits fulfill that mission, and we do.”

Hoffman says the organization saw a need to help people in the city who needed help with everything from window washing and yard mowing to installing hot water heaters and new windows.

Thanks to grants, donations, and charitable volunteers, Hoffman says projects can be completed for those in need for little or no cost.

“A lot of times people who come to us for help can afford some of the project, but not all of it.”

“For instance,” says Hoffman, “someone may be able to pay for the paint needed to repaint their house, but not be able to pay for the labor or complete the labor themselves.”

NeighborLink volunteers then donate their time, even materials if there’s no money in the organization’s account.

Thanks to crowd funding campaigns, Hoffman also says the organization has about $30,000 in its operational accounts to complete projects. Hoffman says the Home Depot Foundation also makes it possible to obtain materials when there’s no other way. Finding a way to make these projects happen means that in 2014, 26 home improvement projects were completed in Waynedale last year, with another 18 being completed in Waynedale so far this year.

Bill Minnick lives in Waynedale and he’s grateful for the help he received from NeighborLink.

Minnick has trouble getting around and his vision is poor.

“The work I needed done wouldn’t have gotten done if it weren’t for NeighborLink,” says Minnick, who’s boxes were packed, moved to his new residence, where some lights were installed and the lawn was mowed.

“I didn’t pay a dime.”

Minnick found out about NeighborLink from the City’s 3-1-1 number.

“I needed some things done, and I didn’t even know where to start. Thanks to the City, I got in touch with NeighborLink. I couldn’t be more grateful for the work they do,” says Minnick.

For more information on NeighborLink, visit the organization online at www.NLFW.org.

Brandon D. Schwarze

Brandon D. Schwarze

Brandon Schwarze is a Fort Wayne native and an award winning, nationally published Journalist and Freelance Writer living in Fort Wayne. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer