Rebuilding Together Montgomery County strives to help our elderly neighbors age in place by making their homes more accessible and functional. Ms. G, recently widowed, opened her home to her large family: children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, the home couldn’t take the extra load and the families eventually moved out leaving holes in the floors and walls, and rotted out cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. With help of NARI DC Metro, Mill Creek Parish United Methodist Church, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County was able to rebuild an exterior wall, repair the floors and walls, replace a fence, install new kitchen cabinets and a new dishwasher and repaint the house, allowing Ms. G to age in place peacefully.
Throughout the entire process, Ms. G stayed positive by smiling and dancing! She even was caught dancing on camera with Angela, from NARI DC Metro. Ms. G stated she felt very blessed for the help of Rebuilding Together.
Mr. and Mrs. L
Mr. and Mrs. L are older adults and Mr. L is disabled. When they reached out to Rebuilding Together Montgomery County for assistance, this couple had been living without a functioning bathroom in their home for over a year! With the help of one of our handymen, we took on the project and completed work that included installing and repairing toilets and showers (making the bathrooms completely functional again) as well as installing drywall and a brand-new HVAC.
During the process, Mr. L was always engaged and very talkative, yet his wife would not leave her room or even speak to our staff. However, once all the repairs were completed, Mrs. L left her room and made a meal for our handyman, much to everyone’s surprise! A couple weeks later, Mr. L stated this was the first time their home felt like a home and he wanted to hang a nice picture on the way because of it.
This is one of many cases where Rebuilding Together Montgomery County’s work affected more than just the structure of someone’s home. Our work regularly provides hope and a changed mindset for those we serve.
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.”
Mr. and Mrs. P
Many homeowners that are seeking assistance for their homes get to the point where they lose hope simply due to frustration. Luckily, we were able to help Mr. and Mrs. P regain hope that there is assistance out there for them. Donohoe Construction Company, a longtime supporter of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, worked on their home for National Rebuilding Day. Mr. and Mrs. P both suffer from serious medical complications and have found navigating their home to become a challenge over the past few years. Mr. P is bedridden most of the time and Mrs. P uses a wheelchair.
After meeting the homeowners and learning of their difficult situation, the team from Donohoe knew that they could leverage their relationships with business partners in order to address more of Mr. and Mrs. P’s needs and make their lives safer and healthier. The generous contributions of time and materials allowed Donohoe to tackle a large scope of work and complete the necessary repairs for this aging Silver Spring couple. Upon completion of the repairs, Mrs. P stated, “I knew everything was going to get better, I just had to believe it