Focus on the Delaware Valley, with Lora Lewis

Focus on the Delaware Valley, with Lora Lewis

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia Download

00:29 Download April 8th

From Rebuilding Together Philadelphia Stefanie Seldin, President and CEO, and Jean Allen, Volunteer,  Board Member and recipient of a home rebuild, discussed the non-profit that seeks to repair homes and revitalize communities.  Each year, with the support of hundreds of volunteers and community partners, they provide repairs to at least 125 homeowners, over 2,100 homes since 1988 to make them safe, healthy and secure assets for the next generation.  Volunteers work along side professional builders to make homes safe for their owners, based on a 25-point check list of priorities that includes fixing exterior walls and rooves, removing mold and pests, kitchens, baths and laundry are vented, smoke and CO detectors are installed, carpeting removed and replaced with dust free flooring, fixing plumbing and heating, and installing grab bars where needed.

We discussed Philadelphia’s housing, older homes, an older population, with a 25% poverty rate and 51% home ownership, many with title issues.  Stefanie explained there are over 27,000 homes without the basics of heat or running water and 25% of our children have asthma, affecting their health, their education and their parents ability to work.

Jean described the process, once homes are chosen through partnership with participating community development agencies, the hired contractors work with the homeowner to review the work, then volunteers and neighbors work together with them to complete the jobs.  The results, a liveable, safe home that not only increases the home’s value but impacts the neighborhood with lower crime rates and a new sense of community.

RTP believes that housing is a human right fundamental to survival, and homeownership gives a family the financial security of building equity (rather than paying rent) as well as the security of having a place to call your own.  It offers a stable environment to raise a family, a sense of pride, and a stake in the community.

Stefanie and Jean discussed the need for volunteers, individuals and groups or businesses to work at their three annual Block Builds or the Asthma Trigger Reduction program rebuilding days.  They also need participants and volunteers for their Saturday, May 8th annual 5k Run/2-mile Walk to help raise money for the home repairs that keep people safe in their homes.

For more information about programming and volunteer opportunities go to

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