Collaboration with community partners helps an older couple stay warm and safe in Bernalillo, New Mexico

April 16, 2021
by Michael Schulz, Board Member at Rebuilding Together Sandoval County

With financial support from two community partners, Rebuilding Together Sandoval County was able to help Joe and Juanita, an older couple, reduce their utility bills and increase the safety and comfort of their home. The couple had to defer much needed home repairs since their social security income is consumed by everyday expenses. As a result, the 50-year-old doors and windows in the home were in disrepair to the extent that they were mostly inoperable and driving up utility bills. When Joe recently fell and fractured his hip, he could not safely navigate his walker through the rear entry door since it wouldn’t open properly.Fortunately, Rebuilding Together Sandoval County was awarded a $5,000 grant from the local power company (PNM Resources Foundation) as part of its focus on increasing energy efficiency in the community. With the financial support of PNMR, Rebuilding Together Sandoval County was able to replace all 12 inefficient, single-pane windows in the home with energy-efficient dual-pane windows meeting Energy Star requirements. Another community partner, Sophia’s Giving Circle, then pitched in with the funds for a new rear sliding door that made access to the back of the house safe once more. Joe says that he feels "much more comfortable and safer in [his] home now,” and that he and his wife are looking forward to lower utility bills to help them better manage their fixed income budget.