During her time as a nurse, Judy Perkins enjoyed the sense of achievement she felt every time she was able to help someone in need. She has experienced and savored those moments when she knew her efforts were being appreciated. She possesses a compassion and sense of understanding that can only come when you know you’ve helped someone in a way no other person can. It may be because of these experiences the now 57 year old Ms. Perkins has such deep feelings of appreciation for KCEOC’s Weatherization Program- feelings that she vividly recalls seeing in her past patients as she looked into their grateful eyes.
Ms. Perkins’ time as a nurse came to an end after 15 years as chronic health problems made it impossible for her to continue her career. Although she had lived most of her life in Lexington, Kentucky where she raised her three children, she now realized that lifestyle changes were inevitable because of her illness. One of Ms. Perkins’ sons had relocated to Knox County and suggested she also make the move. Now living on a humble fixed income, the house Ms. Perkins was able to afford was very old and in need of serious repair. Noting her limited options, Ms. Perkins decided to purchase the house and vowed to make repairs as she could afford them. The factor she hadn’t fully anticipated was the astonishing increase in utility costs. The very repairs she was trying to save for were making it impossible for her to put any money away.
The 100 year old house was proving to be more of a financial burden than Ms. Perkins could handle. The house was in an obviously substandard condition with ½ inch cracks in the floor boards which allowed a constant draft into the home, a serious lack of insulation, an exterior door that wouldn’t fully close, and a faulty furnace that was in such poor condition it was considered unsafe.
Upon hearing about KCEOC’s Weatherization Program, Ms. Perkins immediately submitted an application. Upon arriving to Ms. Perkins home, the Weatherization team performed a needs evaluation, heat energy audit, and heat duct diagnostics to determine what could be done to make the home more energy efficient. After analyzing the house, the crew put together a plan to maximize energy and dollar savings in the home. The crew then executed the plan, repairing the cracks in the floor, installing insulation, and replacing the dangerous furnace with a safe, energy efficient heat pump and central air unit.
Those feelings of appreciation she once saw in the eyes of her patients is now evident in the voice of Ms. Perkins. She speaks with soft emotion as she recalls the professional and respectful manner the weatherization crew maintained while making repairs to her home, “When I see any of them out in public it’s like running into a good friend.”