Nation’s oldest living veteran gets major home renovations
AUSTIN, Texas -- Austin's favorite veteran Richard Overton is getting repairs on the home he's lived in for nearly 70 years, thanks to Meals on Wheels Central Texas and the Home Depot Foundation.
At 111 years old, Richard Overton enjoys spending his days smoking a cigar on his front porch.
"That's what I built it for, to sit on it," Overton said.
He moved to East Austin after serving in World War II and has lived in his home since 1948.
"I got a good neighborhood,” said Overton. “They like me and I like them. We have each other."
But not much has changed in the nearly 70 years that Overton has lived here, which is why Meals on Wheels Central Texas is stepping in.
"We are doing some repairs to Mr. Overton's home so he can continue to live in it independently," said President and CEO Adam Hauser.
Despite its reputation for delivering meals to the elderly, Meals on Wheels expanded its services to include home repairs.
"We want older adults to be able to age in place, live out the remainder of their lives in their own homes where they're most comfortable, but we want those to be healthy and safe environments for them and that's what our program does." Hauser said.
The Home Depot Foundation is funding the renovations. Crews will install a walk-in shower, and will make the bathroom more accessible. They'll also rewire the home to add central heat and air, and rip up the old carpet to replace it with new laminate floors.
"I'm glad to get it done, I'll be glad when they start and glad when they get through, that's two glads, two glads," Overton said.
As for Overton's appreciation for those helping him out, he said no thanks is needed.
"I don't have to tell them thank you, they know I thank them. If I thank them too many times I won't have no thanks left," he said.
Crews estimate renovations will take about two weeks. In the meantime, Overton is staying at an Austin hotel. Meals on Wheels Central Texas is currently working with about 40 veterans in Austin to do home repairs.