Hometown Hero: Kathy Gentry

Safe Housing & Economic Development is located at 25 Bank Street in Welch, WV
Hometown Hero: Kathy Gentry
Hometown Hero: Kathy Gentry
Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 2:09 PM EDT
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WELCH, W.Va. (WVVA) - Regardless of your socioecomic level across our nation individuals are feeling the impact of inflation--even more so for low income families.

For low income residents in McDowell County who need hand up not a hand out that is where SHED also known as Safe Housing and Economic Development comes in.

“We service persons from 30 to 80 percentile income limits and that 30 percentile they make $9000 a year so they come to us not having anything,” said SHED Director, Kathy Gentry.

“Anything that’s second hand that someone can use because its new to them. We take bedding, clothing, types of furniture, kitchen appliances.”

Gentry has been assisting individuals and families through SHED for ten years but before that the Davy, WV native was an educator in the McDowell County School system and she says she does see some commonality between the two career fields.

“When I was in the school system we also families and children coming to school that needed some help. Needed some encouragement and I feel that’s what’s needed here.”

Gentry says this is not an effort that she could do on her own either. Noting she has a staff of seven who are not just her work support system but family

“It’s just a bond. We’re family when were here.”

The ultimate goal is to show residents throughout our community that no matter your circumstances--you matter and that you can make a way for yourself and your family.

“It helps to boost their ego when they have something to start out with and someone to help them do that. We watch them grow and move on from a rental to a homeowner and we like to see those things.”

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