Agency teamwork keeps rural homeowners warm and secure

Weatherization and Senior Care programs address urgent and long-term needs

It’s the homeowner’s worst fear: When one problem is fixed, another problem appears. Sisters Diane Bradley and Jacqueline Morales of Taberville, in rural St. Clair County, experienced this recently.

First the roof. Then the furnace. Like many homeowners, the money they had to fix the first problem didn’t stretch far enough to cover the next.

Diane and Jacqueline were able to fix the roof with hard-earned savings. But they were not sure what to do one cold night last December, 2020, when the furnace broke down.

A Phone Call Away

They called a phone number they had come across for Senior Care, a program at West Central Missouri Community Action Agency that helps elderly residents find and navigate resources. With this call, they found West Central’s weatherization program.

That call ignited the sparks of the sisters’ heating solution. Weatherization program coordinator Laurie Kedigh sprang into action as the urgency of a home without heat in the winter pushed the sisters to the top of the work list.

But West Central did not wait to help during the month it took for a new and improved heater to arrive. Senior Care staff hand delivered space heaters for the sisters to use in the house while the new furnace was on order.

“They went above and beyond expectation,” Jacqueline Morales said. “Some people make you feel just like another number, but this was not this instance with West Central.”

Not just a quick fix

The weatherization program works to not only repair the home, but to also install energy saving measures to improve the home. These energy saving measures will reduce the cost of utility bills that homeowners often are worried about on top of other essential needs.

In addition to a functioning furnace, West Central’s weatherization program enhanced the sisters’ home in other ways. The program addressed improvements needed in ductwork, infiltration, cracks in walls, pipe insulation, and carbon monoxide monitoring to name a few.

West Central teamwork applies here, too. The Senior Care program was able to pay for a water leak repair that had to be done to finish the job.

“To know that this program has taken the stress off of worrying – worrying of what we are going to do … it really touches me,” Diana Bradley said.

Relief from worry is exactly what the program provides to rural homeowners like Diana and Jacqueline.

How it works


The weatherization program applies to homeowners and renters and is available in the nine counties that West Central serves: Bates, Benton, Cass, Cedar, Henry, Hickory, Morgan, St. Clair, and Vernon. The program covers those whose incomes are at 200% of the federal poverty level or below. For example, the threshold for a one-person household would be $24,280 and for a six-person household it would be $67,480.

Applicants who are homeowners must be living in the home. Applicants who are renters may supply their landlord’s information, and West Central will work with the landlord to determine eligibility and next steps. Once approved, weatherization staff will visit the home to assess what improvements are needed and/or recommended.

The weatherization program has a wait list that can range from a few months to a year for some applications. Several factors determine how fast staff can act, from the urgency of no heat in the winter to the availability and focus of different funding sources.

Program coordinator Laurie Kedigh urges anyone interested in weatherization program support to keep in touch because she does not want anyone to lose their place in line.


West Central’s Senior Care program focuses on enhancing the quality of life of seniors age 65 and older living in West Central’s nine-county region: Bates, Benton, Cass, Cedar, Henry, Hickory, Morgan, St. Clair, and Vernon.  Seniors seeking assistance, or referred from other providers, are contacted by a staff member to complete an intake assessment to identify needs.


Contact Information



Phone: 660-476-2185

Address: 106 W. 4th Street, Appleton City, MO, 64724



Contact: Senior Care Director Cheryl Gutshall


Phone: 660-476-2185

Address: 106 W. 4th Street, Appleton City, MO, 64724