Lake County Responds For Veterans: Helping Veterans with Housing Repairs


 Lake County Responds For Veterans is a Chicagoland nonprofit helping the area’s low- to moderate-income veterans with home repairs.

Inspired by their sister organization, Naperville Responds For Veterans, a group of passionate volunteers set out last year to replicate Naperville’s success in Lake County. Both nonprofits assist veterans by providing home repairs and modifications to aid accessibility free-of-charge as a way of showing gratitude for their service.

Lake County Responds For Veterans’ Services

Veterans in Lake County who need home repairs beyond their financial means can reach out to the nonprofit for help. Depending on each person’s specific needs, Lake County Responds For Veterans hires licensed local contractors to make the needed repairs or modifications. These often include fixes for leaking roofs, damaged floors or cracked sidewalks. Wheelchair ramp installation is another common request. 

“Veterans learn to be self-sufficient in the military and don’t often ask for help when they return as citizens,” said Norm Gann, president of Lake County Responds For Veterans. “We’re here to show them that community is here in support and to make sure they know how much they’re appreciated.”

The nonprofit’s services are completely funded by community donations with 90 percent of each donation going directly to help a veteran. Each board member is a volunteer.

“On top of helping every veteran we possibly can, our goal is to create a model for this kind of service so that other areas can help veterans in the same way,” said Tina Abbatecola, a member of the board of directors for Lake County Responds For Veterans and Naperville Responds For Veterans.

Lake County Responds For Veterans and Mainstreet

Abbatecola is an affiliate member of Mainstreet and saw a huge opportunity for Lake County Responds and Mainstreet REALTORS®️ to work together.

“Everyone feels good when they find a cause that they can get behind and be passionate about,” Abbatecola said. “With help from Mainstreet REALTORS®️, we can strengthen neighborhoods by improving the homes of veterans.” 

Abbatecola recently received a Mainstreet Good Neighbor Award for her work with Lake County Responds For Veterans. MORe donated $1,000 on her behalf to support home repairs for veterans.

After seeing the good work Lake County Responds for Veterans has been doing, Mainstreet REALTORS®️ partnered with the nonprofit so members can support local veterans in maintaining their homes. REALTORS®️ deeply understand the value of homeownership, so helping veterans keep their homes safe and comfortable is a natural fit. 

If you or someone you know is a veteran in need of home repairs, apply for assistance from Lake County Responds For Veterans by filling out this application. (The organization is still completing its website, and taking applications through the Naperville Responds for Veterans site in the meantime.) While there are need-based financial criteria to receive services, veterans who do not qualify will be referred to a trusted contractor who can help with repairs. 

Lake County Responds For Veterans is one of six nonprofits that Mainstreet has partnered with to give back to Chicagoland communities. To learn more about all of them, take a look at MORe’s blog. To see the full list, read our introductory post.