People Working Cooperatively is opening the Whole Home Innovation Center to help families throughout the Tristate have safer and healthier homesCorinne Minard For 43 years, the nonprofit People Working Cooperatively has worked to keep people safe and healthy in their homes. While much of the nonprofit’s focus has been on low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners, PWC is looking to reach more residents with its new Whole Home Innovation Center.
“Our mission hasn’t changed. PWC is always going to keep people safe and healthy in their homes. If you’re low income, we have programs for you. If you can afford to pay [for renovation work], we have Whole Home for you. And if you just want to learn how to educate yourself and what you can do, we have the Innovation Center,” says Nina Creech, senior vice president of operations for the nonprofit.
For years, PWC has gone into homes to help with needed repairs. Several years ago, PWC began to offer Whole Home, a modification service that offers fair prices for renovations and products that make residents’ home safer and healthier. The Whole Home Innovation Center, which recently had its soft opening, extends those services by giving homeowners and families throughout the Tristate the opportunity to learn about recent home trends, new products and ways to make their homes healthier.
The center features colorful and bright displays that educate visitors on safety products in the market, like pull-down cabinets and slip-resistant coatings. In addition, the center has space for classes.
“Realtors are groups that have to have continuing education credits. We could teach them a course on aging in community,” says Creech. “We can talk to [plumbers] about comfort height toilets and what are the different things that you can do for a customer that might need a specialty item. We also work with individuals themselves.”
With the Innovation Center, PWC is looking to reach whole families so that everyone in the Tristate has a safer and healthier home. For example, Creech says that people who have family visiting for the holidays could come to the center to learn how to make their home safer for grandparents who may have issues moving around.
“Life happens and wherever you are in the spectrum there’s always something that you could do to your home to be proactive and to live your best, safest, healthiest life,” says Creech.
Creech says that PWC plans to update the Innovation Center’s displays regularly so that there is always something new to learn.
“We want to theme it every month—fall prevention, bring home baby, asthma, whatever the different things are—and just connect the community that we’re an available resource, and as their life changes we’re going to be here,” says Creech. “We’ve been here 43 years and we’re pushing for the next 40 and we think this is a great way to do that.”