After the demise of her parents, Barbara Ford left Charleston South Carolina as a teen to live with her sister at the Polo Grounds Towers in New York City. Later settling down in Brooklyn after her sister purchased a home that would forever change her life. Barbara lived on the corner of 57th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn, where Jerome later moved to in 1974. Being neighbors, Barbara and Jerome eventually became friends which grew into the classic story of boy meets girl next door, and boy falls in love with girl next door. Later marrying on Valentine’s Day in 1987 where Barbara Ford becomes Barbara Austin and thus the search for a forever home began.

The Austin’s spent 15 years in diligent search of the home that was just right for them. Throughout that time, Mrs. Austin even took real estate courses as well as attended many, many open houses determined to find the perfect one family home. During to the rising effects of gentrification in Brooklyn, they decided to explore the other boroughs of New York City finally settling in Staten Island and purchasing their first home in 2005. While it was not their dream home, they chose their home because it had many possibilities.

The Austin’s loved bowling, so much so they participated in bowling leagues and attended boat trip bowling tournaments. They would take their children along on family road trips and on the way back, Mr. Austin said it was the, “cutest thing,” seeing the World Trade Centers and the skyline of the city because they knew they were almost home. After all, home is where the heart is, the place where Mr. and Mrs. Austin loved spending time outside enjoying the fresh Staten Island air.

Geoffrey Chaucer once said, “Time and tide wait for no man.” Unfortunately, with time the Austin’s both endured many health issues and eventually could not maintain the upkeep of their home. Their stairs at the back of their home began to crumble, taking showers became difficult and their basement began to flood. Due to impending health issues and a home with faulty steps, Mrs. Austin stopped going down the steps of her home for almost four years as they became too dangerous for her to walk down.

One day while talking to a neighbor, Mr. Austin was referred to The Parodneck Foundation for home repairs. Mr. Austin called The Parodneck Foundation to do an intake to receive an application. After submitting their paperwork, the Austin’s soon discovered that they qualified for the Senior Citizen Home Assistance Program for home repairs. Mr. Austin stated that, “Construction was great. We are grateful for the work done by D.W.P. Maintenance. Walter made sure everything was done while Glen and Bernard built the deck porch and they are very nice to us,” the contractors hired to construct a porch with a ramp for Mrs. Austin to have easy access in and out of the house, install a walk-in bathtub, and to address the floods in the basement.

The repairs to their home were completed just in time for Memorial Day weekend, where the Austin’s got to enjoy their time outside and have a cookout. The front stairs of their home took Mrs. Austin 15 minutes to get down and now the ramp is perfect for her wheelchair and takes little time to get outside. Mrs. Austin now spends hours outside with their dog, Bridgette. Taking showers is no longer dangerous and the floods in the basement have been maintained.

The Austin’s would like to recommend The Parodneck Foundation for outstanding work and patience, as they understand customers can be a “pain in the neck,” stated Mr. Austin.

Melissa Chung-A-Hing
August 15, 2017
The Austin’s