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Weatherization Story: Hyacintha C.

Ms. Carol Wiggins
Community Environmental Center

Dear Ms. Wiggins,

“I had weatherization and insulation done in June 2009. I could not write to you before, since I had to wait for the cold weather, to judge how well the job was done. Well, this is winter now, and I am very happy with the warmth I am enjoying in the house….I know my gas bill will be much less this year. Thank you very much for placing me on your program.

Yours truly,
Hyacintha C.

Hyacintha is a retired Registered Nurse who lives with her husband in a four-bedroom house in Brooklyn.

Born in Barbados, she first moved to Canada, then came to the United States and worked and raised a family (the children’s many net-ball and bowling trophies are proudly on display in the dining room).

Hyacintha and her husband bought the house in Brooklyn about 20 years ago. But the house itself is around 100 years old. Even though Hyacintha clearly takes excellent care of her home, it was no surprise that too much cold air was coming in during the winter. “It was very drafty,” Hyacintha said during my recent visit to her beautiful house.

She learned about the weatherization program at Community Environmental Center (CEC) through a flyer she received with her gas bill. She called CEC, and CEC’s Henderson Callender (who also happens to be from Barbados) went to Hyacintha’s house and told her that, if her income was below a certain level, she could be eligible for weatherization at no cost to her or her family.

Processing the application took a little time, but last June a CEC crew began its work. “It took about a week to do the house,” Hyacintha reports.

Of course she had to move some furniture. “But they were excellent,” Hyacintha says about the workmen and women. “Very professional. They always told me when they were going to be here, and what they were going to do. They had to break into the wall to put in some insulation. But they came and worked, and they cleaned up every time before they left.”

CEC’s crew insulated walls throughout the house and even in the attic, where they also changed the door. They checked the boiler, checked the exhaust from the clothes dryer and fixed a problem. They installed a carbon monoxide detector and gave Hyacintha new, energy-efficient light bulbs. “They gave me a new fridge, too,” says Hyacintha. “A nice big one.”

And the best part: “It did not cost me anything,” says Hyacintha.

Now, even during the coldest days in January, her home is comfortable and warm. “It is fantastic,” says Hyacintha.

–A. Greene

Alexis is the public relations coordinator at CEC.