FAIRFIELD, Conn. Raising four kids is tough enough. But when two of them are born with developmental disabilities, the difficulty becomes unimaginable. Fairfields Holly Flynn knows that difficulty, as well as the financial constraints it can put on a family.
We live based on what we need, not we want, Flynn said.
Flynns older son, 26-year-old Kevin, has autism. Another son, Tommy, 19, was also born with developmental problems. And both boys also suffer from cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes severe breathing problems. Both live with Holly, who provides care and support.
Flynn has help from her two daughters, but both are now away at college on scholarships. Mellissa is on track to graduate from New York University in May, and Molly is taking graduate courses at Irelands Trinity College.
Both boys stay active in the community. Kevin helps by setting tables at the Fairfield Senior Center and restocks shelves at the Fairfield Woods Branch Library . Tommy volunteers at the Thomas Merton House, shelving groceries in the Bridgeport centers food pantry. Now the Flynn family will get some much-needed help from another community service organization.
The Flynns will be the first-ever recipients of a new project by Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County . Holly and her two boys will reap the benefits of the groups Critical Home Repair program, which hopes to help low-income homeowners who because of age, disability or family circumstances struggle to maintain their homes.
Unlike traditional Habitat projects, which build homes from scratch, the Critical Home Repair program will renovate the Flynns house on Fairfield Woods Road. The house will get new plumbing and electrical systems, and new cabinets and fixtures in its kitchen and bathrooms. Volunteers will also take care of landscaping work, masonry repairs and painting.
To have this opportunity for our home to be renovated inside and out is a true gift, Flynn said. Its something that I would never be able to do on my own.
Much of the work will be done by professionals at Love Where You Live Homes LLC, a contractor based in Trumbull. Habitat volunteers will also help with much of the nontechnical work.
My partner Danielle and I believe it is important to give back to the community, said Glenn Tatangelo of Love Where You Live Homes. I knew that Habitat CFC planned to launch the Critical Home Repair program. When I heard about Hollys situation, I couldnt think of a better way to kick off the program.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.