Brush Up Mac coming up

Chad Frey
The Kansan
Homeowner applications for Brush Up Mac projects are due to the coalition March 15. It is then that organizers will have a feel for what kind of projects will be on the docket for this year.

"Brush Up Mac," a day where upwards of 300 volunteers will blanket the community to perform projects large and small for homeowners, will be organized by the McPherson Housing Coalition again this year — though it will look a little different.

This year the effort will not be centered on one single day — though there will be an application deadline for those who want some help with maintenance for their homes. 

"We are going to do it this year. With Pandemic, I just can't take a chance," said Chris Goodson,  one of the coalition founding members. "We do not want to be a super spreader or something." 

Homeowner applications for projects are due to the coalition March 15. It is then that organizers will have a feel for what kind of projects will be on the docket for this year.

Projects will begin in April, and completed as volunteers and resources are available. Much like last year, when COVID-19 forced some projects to wait. 

A year ago COVID-19 sent college students — a large volunteer group — home and kept them out of the volunteer pool. Some projects had to wait as a result, some not getting completed until late fall. 

Goodson said the coalition has not yet spoken with the colleges about the availablity of student volunteers for this year's effort. 

The idea for each project is to help a homeowner who might not be able to accomplish a project on their own. Past projects have included installation of a new roof, installation of a wheelchair ramp and repair of guttering — among other maintenance projects for homeowners. 

About 90 percent who apply for assistance are senior citizens. 

"A lot of the seniors that work with us, they count us every single year to help maintain their property," Goodson said.  "It is kind of like the first step in preventing homelessness for these seniors, keeping them in their houses longer. This pandemic showed us how important it is to keep people in their homes as long as possible and make sure everyone has a home." 

Orgainzers expect to help between 20 and 30 homeowners with projects this year. 

"I don't think that number will change much," Goodson said. "Sometimes we can't offer quite as much assistance as we have, but we do what we can."

Goodson said for volunteers there will the ever-popular t-shirts again — however there is a bit a change there as well. 

This year's design will feature not only Brush Up Mac, but a new project by the coalition as well. The coaltion is hoping to break ground on Oak Harbor, a tiny home villiage, this spring. 

"We are doing all of that by volunteers to keep the cost down," Goodson said. 

When complete, the project will have a house for a property manager along with tiny homes that can be used as transitional housing for up to six months. The coalition is currently in the fundraising stage of that project — seeking between $40,000 and $50,000 for each of 10 tiny homes. 

Brush Up Mac projects will begin in April, and completed as volunteers and resources are available.