After five weeks of renovations and more than 20 years homelessness, Kenny Powell finally has a place to call home this holiday season.
Powell moved into his 24-foot trailer Saturday with the help of volunteers from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, who also found the trailer and renovated it.
Senior Warden Steve Drury said the church plans to hold a party and dedication ceremony by Father Dan at Powell’s new home sometime next week.
Powell’s trailer found a permanent home Dec. 20 at the C Bar Diamond trailer park in Star Valley.
Drury helped Powell hook everything up at his new pad, including the water, electricity and cable lines.
“When I left him Saturday, he had an 18-inch Christmas tree set up and he was sitting in his easy chair,” he said. “I have never seen a happier guy.”
Powell has not had a place to call home in more than two decades, and was living in the back seat of a Chrysler Fifth Avenue on Flowing Springs Road.
A mechanic by trade, Powell was having a hard time finding work in the Valley and came to Payson in February to find work.
The church hired Powell to do odd jobs after he approached a church parishioner asking for money or work. When Drury heard he was living in his car, he set out to find a home.
Drury acquired an abandoned trailer at a Star Valley mobile home park, and church volunteers, with Powell’s help, fixed it up.
“We put in all new appliances — fridge, cook top, microwave and heater,” Drury said. “We rebuilt the whole thing from the ground up, tore up the floor and now it has hardwood flooring, a new ceiling and all new sidewalls.”
The church also helped Powell get set up with Social Security so he could afford monthly rent and utilities at the park.
“He is financially stable for the first time,” Drury said. “We even got him a cell phone so we can call him with work.”
Drury said after a Nov. 28 article in the Roundup about Powell, several people donated items and wanted to give Powell work.
“We got so many, many comments,” Drury said. “We had people stop at the trailer asking for him to give him work.”
When not keeping up with his busy work schedule, Drury said Powell is making plans for a dinner with residents in the park.
“When I brought the trailer down there, everyone came out to greet him, it was really incredible,” Drury said.