Volunteers Help Preserve Affordable Housing

Volunteers Help Preserve Affordable Housing BOSTON, MA - Rebuilding Together Boston (RTB), an affiliate of Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable housing and revitalize communities, is engaging more than 500 local volunteers and civic leaders to rehabilitate four homes in Mattapan, Dorchester and West Roxbury; the Boys & Girls Club in South Boston; two local churches, a schoolyard; and a neighborhood retail district on National Rebuilding Day. This work is made possible by the generosity of sponsors: Babson Capital Management, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bullhorn, Epsilon, Gilbane Building Company, Grand Circle Corporation, Jacobs Family, LPL Financial, MetLife, Sears Holdings, Shawmut Design and Construction, Starbucks Coffee Company, U.S. Administration on Aging and the United Services Automobile Association (USAA).

Renovations include home modifications and energy-efficiency upgrades for Vietnam and Korean War Veterans; new roof and gutter replacement for a widow who has lived in her home for 30 years; waterproofing, patching, and painting for the Boys & Girls Club in South Boston; installing new doors and lighting for the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and School in Jamaica Plain; and, new landscaping and much improved access for the members and visitors of the First Parish Church in Dorchester.

"This year, Rebuilding Together Boston has the honor of helping not only homeowners, but also of making significant improvements to a community center and other local non-profit facilities. Our volunteers will really make a difference in the Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury neighborhoods," said Simone Auster, President of Rebuilding Together Boston.

To celebrate RTB's 20th Anniversary, the nonprofit also will be working with the city of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Services and area retailers to spruce up the Dudley Square retail district. Volunteers will paint light poles, remove debris, put in planters, mulch tree pits, and work on other area beautification activities.

"Today, we are grateful to the hundreds of Rebuilding Together Boston volunteers and many national and local employers who are helping to revitalize homes and integral nonprofit facilities in several of our neighborhoods. In addition, Boston Shines 2011 and Rebuilding Together are working in tandem to make our neighborhoods more beautiful for Boston residents in Dudley Square," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Volunteers today included New England Patriots alumni Paul Francisco, Roland James, Ilia Jarostchuk, Bill Matthews, Robert Perryman and Jermaine Wiggins. The Patriot volunteers participated in hands-on service at three of the nine sites, including home repairs, painting, landscaping and cleaning for Massachusetts families in need.

Rebuilding Together also revitalized First Parish Church, the oldest congregation in Boston and one of the oldest in the United States.

"First Parish Church in Dorchester has a long history of serving this community and we are grateful for the work of Rebuilding Together Boston in helping us to make our building a safe and welcoming space for all the groups that use it," said Reverend Art Lavoie. "The timing couldn't be better! Rebuilding Together Boston's work will help First Parish Church launch its new campaign to further restore this historic structure."

Rebuilding Together Boston, along with 200 fellow Rebuilding Together affiliates and their 70,000 volunteers across the country rehabilitate and improve the houses of low-income homeowners at no cost. Recipients of services include the elderly, physically challenged, veterans, families with children and others in need.

"As the nation's leading nonprofit serving homeowners at the poverty line, our network is dedicated to rehabilitating homes, and by doing so, to preserving communities that are in danger of deterioration," said Gary A. Officer, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. "National Rebuilding Day raises awareness nationwide and impacts countless communities across the country."

National Rebuilding Day occurs every year on the last Saturday in April. It is the culmination of a year's worth of planning, volunteer recruitment and partnerships with sponsors to change hundreds of homeowners' lives across the country.

Rebuilding Together Boston is an affiliate of the nation's largest non-profit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing repair and renovation services at no cost to those in need. Through support from foundation, corporate and individual sponsors; local businesses; skilled labor; and, the hands-on work of nearly 1,000 volunteers each year, Rebuilding Together Boston renovates and repairs homes for the City's economically-disadvantaged homeowners and nonprofit facilities across the City.

Rebuilding Together Boston is a twenty-year-old non-profit which provides no-cost home repairs and renovations for the City's economically disadvantaged homeowners as well as for non-profit-owned facilities. To date, the value of Rebuilding Together Boston's work has totaled over $6 million and helped some 270 recipients. More information is available at: www.rtboston.org
Source: Rebuilding Together Boston

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