2023 Project Story: Blue Ridge Mountains

Coal mining is the economic backbone of many small rural communities in West Virginia. As the demand for coal declines, families in these areas have increased difficulty providing for themselves and making ends meet. The Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) annual report shows that the socioeconomic status of the region is heavily distressed, and several counties in West Virginia ranked most severe.

Our project partner in Blue Ridge is Southern Appalachia Labor School (SALS). Their mission is to improve the lives of struggling families in the region. West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the country, with long-standing issues of poverty and low wages.

This summer you will be providing home repairs such as installing insulation and drywall, along with priming and painting finished surfaces. You will construct porches and wheelchair ramps. Wheelchair ramps are especially needed for those with mobility issues. Even the smallest things, like leaving the house to get mail, are a challenge for those without ramps. Together, we will work to make homes warmer, safer, and more accessible so families have a space they can enjoy.