Blog - Rebuilding Together
Talk is one thing, actually doing it is a completely different animal. All year at the office we talk about National Rebuilding Day. Most of the work that we do on a day to day basis, vetting applications, inspecting homes for potential projects, even the social media posts we make, point towards Rebuilding Day. While it is not our singular goal, it is the most important event that we have in the year. I had never experienced a Rebuilding Day before this year, and to be able to witness it was something special that I will not soon forget.
For MLK Week, AmeriCorps members from Rebuilding Together affiliates from across the country gathered for a week of service in New Orleans. It was an opportunity for us to serve our neighbors across the country, reflect on the impact of Dr. King, and so much more. It was a wonderful week full of introspection and teamwork. We AmeriCorps members were reunited with each other, having all met in August 2018 for training in Washington, D.C. Seeing all of these familiar faces during this week strengthened the bond that we established during that week in Washington. For the week, the AmeriCorps members were divided into three groups to do home repairs for three different families, two houses that needed to be completely repainted, and one house where a wheelchair ramp was being built for a disabled veteran.
Wow, what a great group of volunteers! The teams from Coretek showed up to Monique’s house in Farmington Hills ready to go. It was clear that this was a close knit group, everyone worked so well together. We appreciate all of the volunteers, especially our younger ones, for giving up two Saturdays to help out a family in need.
When a few good people come together and put in a little hard work, good things can happen. Good things were happening at the Keaton home in Southfield thanks to a great group of volunteers. On Friday, September 21st, we teamed up with a group of awesome people from Wells Fargo through their volunteer program, Wells Fargo Volunteers, to help out a very deserving family.
On Friday, September 14th the team from the Center for Financial Planning came out to Curtis Simpson’s house in Southfield to help make some repairs on his home. They were a great team, everyone worked hard and got along great with Curtis, who was an incredibly kind and friendly man.
We had a great time with Hope Community Church this past weekend, helping out three homeowners in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit, Ralph and Nicola on Friday and LaTina on Saturday. This was a particularly exciting weekend for us as it marked not only our first project in Jefferson-Chalmers but Detroit as a whole. And if our time there this past weekend is any indication of our future in Detroit, it is safe to say that things are looking bright.
On August 10th, volunteers from Barton Malow gathered at a home in Southfield to help out a member of their community, Alfonso. We were so excited to be working with Barton Malow for the first time, with them helping out as a part of their Community Week. The majority of the work done that day was on the inside of the home, helping Alfonso have a safe and healthy home to live in. It was a busy day for the volunteers, as they replaced the hot water heater, installed new kitchen flooring, put in a new sink and painted the living room walls and ceilings. In addition to the work done by our wonderful volunteers, a professional plumber came to Alfonso’s house the next day to fix a shut-off valve that had been broken.
On October 11, 2017, Plex Systems employees came together to help Everlina, a homeowner in Oak Park, rebuild her home. Despite the torrential downpours that day, the volunteers came ready to complete the work scope which included cleaning the gutters, re-grading the sides of the home with dirt and grass seeds, cutting down backyard foliage, installing new handles on the back door, putting down concrete in the cracks in the driveway and front pathway, installing railing at the back steps, installing new plumbing fixtures and fixing the lighting in the kitchen.
In May, Delphi Technologies volunteers worked on two homes, one on May 10th and the other on May 18th. On May 10th, volunteers served Steven Haley, a Madison Heights homeowner with a disability and also of extremely low income. The repairs on his home included carpet replacement and removal, painting the walls and ceiling in various rooms, bathroom repairs, fixing the garage door and painting it, repairing plumbing in the kitchen and other kitchen repairs. After two days of repairs, the Delphi volunteers went and volunteered at a home in Pontiac.
On April 28th, Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan had our annual rebuild blitz day called National Rebuild Day. Many Rebuilding Together affiliates participate on this day, blitz renovating many homes in their respective areas. The day started when, in 1971, a group of neighbors in Texas saw one of their own struggling to keep up with the maintenance on their home. They came together and performed many repairs on their neighbor’s home, calling it Christmas in April. Afterward, the neighbors formed a group after the same name and many years later, changed their name to Rebuilding Together, to reflect the many kinds of neighbors that participate.
On October 21st,2017 Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan helped a nonprofit organization that provides a sanctuary for women survivors of human trafficking called Sanctum House. Together, there was a total overhaul of the new facility that offers a much needed safe space in the world.
Sanctum House was founded in 2017 to empower survivors of human trafficking with life skills to achieve a sustainable and independent lifestyle. Their founder Edee Franklin and Board member Christina Alvaro met with Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan Board and staff to ask if we could assist them in preparing their new building to open as a safehouse.
On October 28, Cricket Wireless volunteers gathered at the Cass Community Social Services building in Detroit to help refurbish their gym. After gathering inside, the group started their work, with the majority working in the gym. Volunteers worked on cleaning dust off the gym pads, behind the grated windows and floors. When they finished cleaning up around the gym, the volunteers started on the walls, using ladders, paintbrushes and rollers with extension rods to reach the high walls above the padding.