Code Citation Turns To Blessing For Garland Family

Garland's Code Cares Program Helping Elderly and Disabled Residents

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Saturday, Jul 21, 2012  |  Updated 1:36 AM CDT
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Code compliance officers are known for handing out citations for property maintenance but in Garland they're helping those who might have a hard time keeping their property looking good.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter

Code compliance officers are known for handing out citations for property maintenance but in Garland they're helping those who might have a hard time keeping their property looking good.

Code officers are known for handing out citations and laying down the law on property maintenance, but in Garland, they're also getting credit for helping those who may have a hard time keeping up to date.

Glenn and Mary Johnston had trouble maintaining their home when Mary was diagnosed with cancer and Glenn needed a hip replacement.

"When you watch your house deteriorating, it's very defeating because you can't do anything about it," said Mary Johnston.

When they got a citation from the City of Garland's code department for tall weeds, they finally asked the city for help.

"It was frightening because we knew if we didn't comply it would be followed by citations and fines," said Glenn Johnston.

Thanks to Code Cares, the city's program where code officers and volunteers help the elderly or disables for free, a host of helpers came to fix up the Johnston home.

"I can't even come up with words to describe how wonderful it is," said Mary Johnston.

This is the second year that the New World United Methodist Church has been working with Code Cares.

"We do a lot of things overseas, but there's so much work to be done in our back yard and how we want to take care of things. And people here in Garland need it," said Curtis Holtz.

The program started six years ago and so far they have helped more than 130 people in the city.

"It just the restores the hope of the soul, you feel like you're a worthy human again," said Glenn Johnston.

Garland's city manager was so impressed by the program, he allocated funds to buy lawn equipment so inspectors no longer had to use their own.

"I want to thank the person who turned our weeds in," said Mary Johnston. "They did us a tremendous blessing."

If a Garland citizen needs help, they should contact Oswaldo Rodriguez with the City of Garland Code Department at 972-485-6420.

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