A Home with Good Spirit

Betty Barnes doesn’t mince words when she says she once had the ugliest house on the street.

“It was all clunked up and out of code,” she says. “Now it looks snap-brand-new. When I see it I have to remind myself that I live here, and I shout, ‘Thank you Lord!’”

Betty has lived in her East Atlanta Village ranch for 53 years. It’s where she raised her four children and was the refuge she returned to each day after working multiple jobs to support her family. “It’s a peaceful home with good spirit,” says Betty. “I remember my kids doing flips off the back porch and riding their big wheel down the sidewalk. It’s seen a lot of growth and a lot of love.”

Over the decades, Betty has watched East Atlanta Village grow up around her, transforming into a vibrant community with big new houses, restaurants and a library. During that time, her own home began to deteriorate, but money to address the necessary repairs was always hard to come by.

Betty considers it a blessing that she learned about the Invest Atlanta Owner Occupied Rehab program, which helps long-time Atlanta residents make needed repairs so they can safely remain in their homes. In Betty’s case, those repairs involved new insulation, siding, exterior painting, window replacements and the removal of bee nests and termites. She even received new address numbers.

Betty says people don’t recognize her house when they drive by now, not to mention it’s up to code and her utility bills are much lower.

“This program is just wonderful,” she says. “Us seniors have worked our whole lives, and we don’t want to give up our homes and communities to go live in a nursing home – we want to stay. I pray people learn about this program and pursue it.”

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