She was told to reapply for a program one year after she was actually approved: 'I was frustrated'

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Apr 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-26 18:01:58-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Over a year after she applied and was approved for a home repair program, long-time Richmond resident Dorothy Bruce reached out to CBS 6 hoping to get some answers on when the process would finally begin.

For decades Bruce's home served as a harbor of care and compassion for anyone in her community. She has welcomed generations of children into the Richmond home she and her husband have lived in for more than 60 years.

After years of running a home daycare program, she decided to retire and get some much-needed repairs done to her home.

Bruce applied for a home repair program through the organization Project Homes. They offer various home repair services to people based on state-mandated income restrictions.

"I immediately turned in papers, got approved last year in March and so I was told that someone would come out and check for lead," she said.

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Dorothy Bruce

Bruce said she was so excited after being approved in spring 2023. "Oh that was such a relief," she said. "After 60 years there's been a lot of damage done by now."

Months later in October, Bruce said someone working with Project Homes came out to inspect her home.

"He took pictures of the whole house," she said. "He told me that there's just so much that has to be done, he assured me that they may not be able to do everything."

Aware the process may take a while, she waited for a call back on when renovations would start. Bruce said she was told the entire process including renovations could take up to six months.

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Bruce's home

Months later, Bruce says she still has never received a call. She reached out to them at the beginning of April and said she was confused and saddened by their response.

"Someone returned my call and she said you’ll have to reapply," she said. "I was frustrated, disappointed, blamed myself, wondering if maybe I hadn’t been as grateful as I should've been, hurt, all of the above.

Bruce then reached out to CBS 6 hoping to get an understanding of what the issue was. "I said I do not understand what you’re saying, I will reach out to Channel 6," she said.

Waiting with no update is what Bruce said has been the hardest part, as she was looking forward to the freedom getting those repairs would bring.

"It would mean inviting my grandchildren to come and spend time," she said. "Can’t you imagine the joy being able to have students, friends of my grandchildren just like friends of my children came and feeling free."

CBS 6 reached out to Project Homes regarding the situation and was told that they spoke to Bruce and have addressed her concerns.

CBS 6 then spoke with Bruce who said Project Homes called her and said they sincerely apologize for the delay in response and that she would not need to reapply for the program. They are hoping to start her repairs this June.

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