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Fort Worth home repairs by Trinity Habitat help seniors age in place

Beulah Moore has lived in her Historic Southside home since 1978 with her husband, William. After he became blind, Trinity Habitat was able to make repairs to the home, allowing the retired couple to age in place.
Sandra Sadek
Fort Worth Report
Beulah Moore has lived in her Historic Southside home since 1978 with her husband, William. After he became blind, Trinity Habitat was able to make repairs to the home, allowing the retired couple to age in place.

Editor’s note: This story was produced as part of Columbia University’s 2023 Age Boom Academy.

Beulah Moore, 78, always relied on her husband, William, to repair the home they’ve owned in the Historic Southside since 1978. But after he lost his sight, making repairs became harder for him.

In early 2023, the Moores’ ceiling drywall started to crack and she tried to fix it herself.

“(I thought) it was about to fall on me,” she said.

Finally, Moore reached out for help at her church, which eventually connected her with Trinity Habitat for Humanity’s Aging in Place program. One month later, while the couple stayed for a week at a hotel, the team at Trinity Habitat replaced the Moores’ roof, front and rear hose bibs and kitchen sink drain; repaired the ceiling drywall; installed an entry lever handle on the front and back doors, a water heater drain, a walk-in shower and shower door and grab bars; and upgraded the electrical box with hardwired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

“It was a delight to see the changes that they did because I didn’t expect new locks, new keys — some of it was exciting to note,” Beulah Moore said. “It made me feel good to know that I didn’t have to look up all the time and say, ‘Oh, no, it’s gonna fall on my head.’”

Since the start of the program in 2021, Trinity Habitat has made 114 interior repairs to help seniors like the Moores stay in their homes as they age.

Robyn Scott-Coit, Preserve-A-Home director at Trinity Habitat, said the idea of aging in place became especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It really became prevalent that if you had to stay in your home — because nobody’s going out for COVID — that a lot of our elderly people, their homes really weren’t equipped for them to be sequestered in their house,” Scott-Coit said.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts that “by 2040, there will be an estimated 30 million 75-84 year olds, and another 14 million people 85 or over.”

The Aging in Place program kicked off thanks to a $2 million, two-year pandemic-related grant that the city of Fort Worth received and used to help seniors age in place. Called “Healthy Homes,” the money allowed Trinity Habitat, which was already making minor outdoor home repairs, to finally start making interior changes.

According to Trinity Habitat, the agency intended to serve 68 households with that grant. In the end, they served 101.

What can you get repaired or upgraded with Trinity Habitat’s Aging in Place program?

Upgrading to a walk-in shower 

  • Adding grab bars to avoid slips and falls
  • Shoring up floors to allow better mobility with walkers
  • Enhancing security with new deadbolt entry levers
  • Bringing breaker boxes and smoke detectors up to code 
  • Changing out doorknobs for lever handles to help those with arthritis
  • Testing for lead and radon in homes built before 1978

A lot of repairs and upgrades may seem trivial, but they can make life safer and a lot more comfortable for elders. Walk-in showers are the most requested upgrade.

“Older people trying to step over that threshold to get into the tub — slip and falls (in) bathrooms are the highest accident-prone place in the house,” Scott-Coit said

The city grant ran out in November 2023, but Trinity Habitat was able to find another grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue serving seniors in their homes.

The need is now so great that the agency has around 250 people on the waitlist. To accommodate the demand, Trinity Habitat works closely with surrounding cities and counties to find government grants on all levels to fund repairs, a key factor in determining how many seniors can receive repairs on an annual basis.

Repairs to a single senior’s home can cost between $10,000 to $20,000.

“It’s a one-hit deal, so we try to be very holistic when we go in,” Scott-Coit said. “You try to help them help you figure out their biggest need.”

The help the Moores received from Trinity Habitat was a blessing that will allow the couple to continue to live independently.

“I hope until the Lord calls us home … we can stay here, because we’re both in pretty good health,” Beulah Moore said.

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.