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Grants now available for seniors’ safety projects

Volunteers from NC Baptist churches working through NC Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) will now have access to grant-funded smoke alarms and supplies for home safety projects for seniors.

On the heels of a $40,000 FEMA Fire Prevention Safety Grant, NCBAM was recently awarded an additional $78,000 for smoke alarms and other safety devices for seniors. NCBAM’s senior ministry director, Dr. Sandy Gregory, says the safety grant speaks to the heart of NCBAM’s work. “These grants will greatly enhance what we can do through our ‘Priority #1: Prevention’ outreach. Fall and fire prevention are integral to our mission of providing ‘help for the journey’ to older adults. Sadly, seniors are more than twice as

likely to die in house fires. We’ve seen too many houses with no working alarms—some yellowed or even crumbling with age, or with batteries removed. We’re thrilled to have access to these funds. We need teams of people who can partner with us to bless

their communities.”

Alarms will be available statewide to groups willing to be trained in installation. Groups can ensure all their senior church members have working alarms, or can canvass their communities as a missional outreach. The grant-funded alarms are state-of-the-art and come with a 10-year sealed-in lithium battery, a loud 85-decibel alarm, and a “near-expiration” chirp. NCBAM also has carbon-monoxide alarms for homes that burn fossil fuels as well as alarms for deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals.

Over the next two years, NCBAM will also receive $275,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These funds may be used for home improvements or modifications that enhance the mobility and security of older adults. Projects will begin with home visits and may include grab bar installation, stairs/porch repair, door locks, wheelchair ramps, or other safety enhancements. Unlike the statewide FEMA grant, the ARPA grant can be used only in Alamance, Davidson, Guilford, and Randolph counties. ARPA grant funds will be distributed to NCBAM by the Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging (PTRC AAA) which administers federal, state and local funding within the 12 counties they serve.

“We’re thankful for our great partners at the PTRC,” said Gregory. “We’ve worked together many times, and they reached out to us about this grant opportunity—knowing that we rely on mission-minded volunteers who would stretch the funds and double

the people served.”