Volunteers Help Covington Church with Clean-Up, Maintenance

Volunteers from Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK) spent two days earlier this month to support a local church.

HONK's Summer Community Service Project was started seven years ago, and this summer, the group targeted Ida Spence United Methodist Mission, located in Covington's City Heights.

Gina Cornelius, who serves as the minister at Ida Spence, is HONK's housing counselor.

Over the two-day period, twenty volunteers removed worn and tattered carpet from the sanctuary, which also serves as an all-purpose room, and performed other maintenance, including repairing an entry door and painting.

“We have been working on raising funds to replace the flooring in the sanctuary for the past two years,” said Cornelius. “To have a group come in and remove the torn carpet is saving us a significant amount on labor. This will allow us to move forward with the new flooring much sooner than we initially anticipated.”

The Summer Community Service Project recognizes the importance of building the community, said HONK’s Construction Manager Steve Lutkenhoff: “We have been supported by so many in the community that we feel it’s important to share this blessing by giving back to a community organization that helps local families," he said.

Ida Spence Mission serves the local community through nutrition, education, and mentoring.

The Mission also provides rent-free space to a clinic that provides health care to the residents of City Heights, removing transportation as an obstacle to receiving care.

Lutkenhoff said selecting Ida Spence Mission for this project recognizes the invaluable service Cornelius and the Mission provide to the community. As housing counselor, Cornelius works with HONK client families to get them mortgage-ready and help them understand the responsibilities of home ownership.

The Summer Community Service Project started in 2013 in response to a request from Our Savior Parish in Covington. Since then HONK has provided volunteer labor to churches, non-profit organizations and individuals through the annual event.

Founded in 1991, HONK addresses the need for good quality affordable homes using an innovative lease-to-own program that helps people to become homeowners.

-Staff report