Rebuilding Together Montgomery County were contacted by county code enforcement requesting assistance with a serious situation causing potential homelessness. The homeowner, Ms. J., was an older adult and did not have the resources to address the repairs that caused her home to be condemned. Much of the damage in the home came from people and animals she had taken in to provide shelter. Unfortunately, her big heart wound up costing her dearly, with significant damage to her home including plumbing leaks, broken toilets, drywall holes, and missing flooring throughout the home. The home also had a great deal of clutter from a friend’s belongings left there and a non-functioning kitchen.
After processing Ms. J’s application and previewing her home, we knew this would be a complete rebuild. We usually address critical needs in homes. In this case, everything was a critical need and we were unsure if we would be able to address all the homeowner’s repairs due to our budget and manpower. To prevent homelessness for this resident, we began reaching out to different partners. A longtime supporter of RTMC, Lance Wolin of Donohoe Construction Company, came to the rescue! Lance was able to connect us with Magnolia Plumbing, Bratti Tile & Terrazzo, Capitol Drywall Inc., Selective Demolition, Carpentry & Hardware Services, Shenandoah Coatings, and Floors, Etc. These companies donated their labor and materials to transform the home! After a few months of hard work and dedication from all the companies and with the approval of the County, Ms. J was able to move back into her home.
The main goal that affiliates of Rebuilding Together strive to accomplish on a daily basis is making sure the homeowners served, specifically the elderly, can age in place by making their homes more accessible and functional. In this specific case, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County accomplished that goal with 97 years old Eula Knight. Due to a family dispute, Ms. Knight home was taken away from her, which left her homeless. When Ms. Knight moved back into her home, the home was worse than it was when it was taken away from her. Having a fractured rib at the time, Ms. Knight was in no condition physically and financially to handle the repairs to her home herself – this is when Rebuilding Together Montgomery County stepped in. Rebuilding Together Montgomery County partnered Ms. Knight with B’nai Israel and Faith United Methodist Church as well as spent grant money to assist her with needed repairs to allow her to age in place. B’nai Israel, Faith United Methodist Church and Rebuilding Together Montgomery County were able to complete repairs such as installing new HVAC unit, repaired roof leaks, repaired walls and painted her entire home, installed new garbage disposal, weatherized the whole house including attic insulation and so much more. After completing repairs and showing Ms. Knight for the first time, she exclaimed, “I was so relieved to know I was not going to be homeless again.”