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‘Keeping Hope Alive’

Clayton Housing Authority assists family through grant

Judith Chalker, of Jonesboro, has a husband with Alzheimer’s disease and kidney failure.

Because of his illnesses, the Chalker family had exhausted its financial resources, but still needed a handicapped-accessible ramp at home, to accommodate Jack Chalker’s disability.

Judith Chalker worried that, without a wheelchair ramp –– in the event of an emergency –– she would not be able to get her husband to the hospital.

In search of a solution to her problem, Chalker went to a Medicaid representative, and from there, was given a list of agencies that could possibly help. On that list, she said, was the Housing Authority of Clayton County (HACC), which, in turn, gave her information about the Housing Urgency Grant program, also known as HUG.

HUG is offered through the housing authority, and helps rehabilitate homes to protect the safety and security of residents.

Judith Chalker said she was placed on a waiting list for the grant, and approximately one month later, got a call from the housing authority office, advising her to come into the Forest Park headquarters and complete an application.

“They were the nicest people,” said Chalker, “even when they were not sure if funding was going to be available.”

Shortly after she completed the application, she said, housing authority officials approved the family for HUG funding. “After reviewing our case, everything fell into place,” she said.

According to housing authority officials, it did not take long to review Judith Chalker’s paperwork, In fact, they said, in a matter of two days, her paperwork was complete. A wheelchair ramp was installed at the family’s home.

“Judith is such a sweet person, even with all the adversity that she has faced,” said Linda Valentine, executive director of the housing authority. “She has been appreciative of the work we were able to do to her home.”

With her mind now at ease, Chalker has nothing but praise for housing authority employees. “When things are done right, like they are at the housing authority, they work,” she said. “I guess it was meant to be.

“They are my angels, and they impress me in how dedicated they are,” she added, saying the grant was a lifesaver for her and her husband.

“We were just glad to be able to help make her home safe and secure, again, to meet the needs of her husband, said Valentine. “She [Judith] serves as an inspiration for us to continue providing the housing-rehabilitation services that are so desperately needed in our community.”