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Gimme Shelter: Yachad's Blog


“It’s very hard as parents when your child can’t breathe.”

The 1950s home Mrs. A and her husband purchased three years ago for their family of seven, including an elderly mother, had a persistent leak problem and was constantly damp.

Water dripped into bedrooms through the ceiling and windows, as well as the living room and kitchen, causing extensive wall damage and mold, creating a dangerous situation for the three family members with chronic asthma. It was a stressful time for the family. Their young son would cry whenever it rained, concerned that the house was breaking.

The children’s asthma led them to treatment at Children’s National, which referred the family to the Impact DC Asthma Clinic and Yachad. Alongside doctors and health professionals, Yachad was part of a virtual home visit that provided a tele-health and virtual home inspection. The team was able to see the home, assess the situation and map out a multi-pronged plan.

Yachad repaired the damaged roof and gutters, which were leaking water into the walls of the home, arranged extermination services, and provided healthy home educational materials. Yachad’s Asthma Home Visiting Program (formerly BreatheEasy) provided mattress and pillowcase covers, a HEPA vacuum cleaner, and a dehumidifier.

Yachad referred the family to the District’s weatherization program to help get their old leaky, single-pane metal windows replaced with double pane windows that will keep the home warmer and more energy efficient. The family was also eligible for a reduction in their utility bill as part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

The family says the overall health and housing remediation plan is working. The 6-year-old son has not had any asthma attacks in over 6 months. Mrs. A appreciated the collaborative virtual visit which made it easy for the family to participate.

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