Coming in Handy

Coming in Handy

by Susan Neuhalfen

City code enforcement is important to maintain a healthy and safe environment for residents, but sometimes it’s a sticky wicket. On one hand, it’s great for neighbors to keep lawns and homes maintained for property value purposes as well as overall safety. However, there are those who are unable, either physically or financially, to keep up on their properties.

When the former Lake Dallas City Manager decided to do more about code enforcement, Senior Pastor Lucas Pinckard of First Baptist Church of Lake Dallas approached him with an idea. He asked that Code Enforcement Officer Daniel Rusnak contact him whenever there was a code violation that involved someone who was either physically or financially unable to fix the problems.

“I asked that before the City of Lake Dallas ticketed anyone, they give us a call to see if we can help out,” said Pinckard, who had performed a similar task as a missionary in Canada. “Once we make sure it’s something we can take care of, our group heads out to handle it.”

Pinckard said that when Garry Dick and Jason Swann of the church’s men’s ministry learned of the opportunity, they immediately assembled a team to work on repairs. Many of them specialize in certain home repairs and they’ve helped several citizens to date. One of their first calls was about an elderly lady whose door was off the hinges and in need of repair. A cold snap was just about to hit so Pinckard and his team went to work.

“They called us that day and by that afternoon we had the door back on the hinges,” said Pinckard. “Our elder care program then began visiting the same lady to bring food and realized that she needed heat. We were back out to bring heaters to keep her comfortable.”

They’ve replaced fences and performed all sorts of odd jobs, helping people to not only avoid paying the fine, but to live in a safer environment. They’ve braved both the heat and the cold, all to help out needy citizens in the area.

“They just jump at any opportunity to help,” said Pinckard. “I am truly blessed with a congregation that is willing and desires to take care of our community.”

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