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Residential Real Estate
Sep 30, 2019

Housing is the Best Medicine

Sponsored Content provided by JC Lyle - Executive Director, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry

We all depend on our homes to provide a safe, secure, and healthy place to eat, rest, play, and perhaps work. When we don’t have it, life starts to unravel. In some cases, a home’s deficiencies cause sickness and injuries that result in suffering, time missed from work or school, medical bills, and debt.
 
Addressing those deficiencies through home rehabilitation has the power to reduce and eliminate threats to the residents’ health.
 
Rosa is raising her three granddaughters on social security payments of $900 per month and couldn’t afford to replace the leaky roof on her mobile home. She and two of the young girls developed respiratory illnesses due to the mold on their living room ceiling.
 
David lost his balance while dragging his walker down his rickety front steps. He fell and injured his wrist. Look at David showing off his new ramp built by WARM volunteers!


 
Forty-five percent of U.S. homes have at least one health or safety hazard, according to the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH). According to their website:
 
Statistically, the home is the most dangerous place for U.S. families. Nearly six million families live in housing rivaling that of developing countries, with broken heating and plumbing, holes in walls and windows, roach and rodent infestation, falling plaster, crumbling foundations, and leaking roofs.
 
Studies compiled by the NCHH found that in the United States:

  • 1 in 12 children have asthma, 40 percent is caused by environmental hazards in the home
    • $63 billion is spent on asthma caused by the conditions in the home
  • 500,000 children aged 1-5 have elevated blood levels
    • $50 billion is spent on lead poisoning caused by lead based paint in the home
  • 30,000 older adults die from unintentional falls
    • $200 billion is spent on unintentional injuries at home
 
That’s $313 billion to treat just three conditions caused or exacerbated by substandard housing!
 
Improving the condition of a family’s home can create a healthier environment and help prevent this type of suffering and expense. Increasingly, health care professionals seek to influence factors outside of the clinic to address patient health comprehensively.
 
For example, New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) deploys Community Paramedics who take certain medical services to the homes of patients, avoiding unnecessary trips to the hospital and identifying problems before they get worse. While in the home, Community Paramedics have the unique opportunity to discover home deficiencies that present health and safety risks. These patients are referred to WARM for repairs and/or accessibility upgrades.
 
When the leaders of NHRMC developed their new mission statement in 2017, they wanted to reflect the hospital’s commitment to positively impact health in many aspects of our lives. They decided on: Leading Our Community To Outstanding Health.
 
Dr. Philip Brown, NHRMC’s Chief Physician Executive, describes it this way:

In the future, our care will extend further beyond the walls of our hospitals. We want our patients to experience outstanding health. That can mean following up to make sure patients get needed prescriptions, have transportation to appointments, have homes repaired or equipped for their needs, or that we address any number of needs not directly related to hospital care.
 
Want to know more? Dr. Brown will deliver the keynote address at WARM’s Harvest Luncheon on Thursday October 17. Learn more about how WARM and NHRMC come together to impact people’s health and how you can be a part of it!

JC Lyle has served as WARM’s Executive Director since January 2009. Under her leadership, WARM's annual revenue and productivity have more than quadrupled. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Lyle worked at McKim & Creed on subdivision design, rezoning and permitting throughout coastal North Carolina. Lyle earned her Master of Business Administration from UNCW's Cameron School of Business and has presented workshops on affordable housing issues and nonprofit management at state-level conferences. Lyle serves on the Planning Commission for the City of Wilmington and the North Carolina Housing Partnership, the board that oversees the state's housing trust fund. In 2012, Lyle was named Wilma Magazine's first Woman to Watch in the Nonprofit Category. In 2014, she accepted WARM's Coastal Entrepreneur Award in the Nonprofit Category, given by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2018, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Cape Fear Chapter named her Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year.

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