Grab bar installation

Low Cost Home Modifications to Prevent Falls

Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church has developed an effective system for identifying and correcting fall hazards in low-income seniors’ homes. Our Rebuilding Together Express program won the Commonwealth Council on Aging’s Best Practices award in 2018. In completing repairs to more than 218 homes we’ve demonstrated that relatively simple and low-cost repairs, modifications, and equipment can correct most fall hazards. Our small teams of RT Express volunteers correct 95% of fall hazards through half-day projects spending less than $500 for materials. ​Click the image below to watch the presentation that Don Ryan and Lucy Stein made at the Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging.

Presenters: Don Ryan, Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church
Lucy Stein, MSOTR/L, CAPS MedStar Health

Wells Fargo Foundation

Wells Fargo Grant Provides Critical Repairs for Homeowner in Fairfax

Wells Fargo FoundationReplacing a roof is expensive and not part of our regular scope of work, so when RT-AFF received Mrs. T’s application we weren’t sure we could help her. Thanks to a grant from The Wells Fargo Foundation, a national partner of Rebuilding Together, we were able to make this critical home repair that allows her to live safely in her home of 24 years.

“I will always be very grateful for everything you did for me. I want to express my gratitude to Wells Fargo, Mr. Don, Mr. Jon and all of the angel volunteers who fixed my house and made it safe,” exclaimed Mrs. T.

Mrs. T learned about RT-AFF when she opened her Fairfax County Real Estate Tax Waiver mailing and found a flyer describing our program. It was very difficult for her to ask for help because she took pride in her independence, but her roof was leaking in many places and her kitchen ceiling had collapsed.

Mrs. T and her husband owned a successful restaurant in their home country. After immigrating to the U.S. to find safety and new opportunities for their teenaged children, they worked for a catering company, received security clearance, and served at many events for government agencies and at the White House. Their son served in the U.S. Air Force and completed four tours of duty in Iraq. He also ran for office in county government. When Mr. T became ill and had to stop working the children shifted their lives to be nearby to help their parents.

Living on one income was difficult and when the roof started leaking Mrs. T placed buckets around the house to catch the water. After Mr. T passed away the close-knit family continued to help as best they could. But the buckets catching rain were multiplying and during one storm the kitchen ceiling became so waterlogged it came tumbling down. Then the pandemic hit and Mrs. T lost her catering job. Every storm caused new worries that the roof wouldn’t hold, especially when the wind howled. She was desperate for help.

The Wells Fargo Foundation grant allowed Rebuilding Together – AFF to hire a contractor to replace Mrs. T’s roof. After the roof was replaced and the house was water-tight, RT-AFF volunteers repaired the kitchen ceiling, installed a donated dishwasher, added grab bars, railings and new lighting and made many other repairs that resolved 13 Health and Safety Priorities. Now that Mrs. T’s home meets all 25 Rebuilding Together Health and Safety Priorities she feels safe and sound and looks forward to living there for many more years.

Volunteers working inside

Roofers at work

 

We have a lot more photos from this project and others on our Flickr albums.

Multiple Critical Repairs Help Springfield Family

Miller & Long pouring new concrete, volunteers from the Faith Church Kingstowne team, Steve Schoepke (l-r)

Homes that present multiple critical health and safety hazards challenge Rebuilding Together-AFF to be creative in gathering the right volunteers and resources to make the homes safe.

The L family’s home in Springfield needed critical repairs. They had a major moisture problem that required demolishing the sidewalk next to their home and pouring 150 square feet of concrete to correct the slope so that rain flowed away from the house. A crew of professionals from Miller and Long, one of our valued corporate partners, tackled this task and completed the work in just one day.

With the major moisture problem solved, our partners from Faith Church Kingstowne mobilized a team of 50 volunteers to make a host of repairs inside and out on their rebuilding day. They painted, repaired drywall, replaced kitchen cabinets, made safety modifications to reduce the homeowner’s risk of falls, and corrected moisture and ventilation problems. The homeowners also had three complex plumbing repairs (including one emergency) that required special skills so Rebuilding Together – AFF made a quick call to volunteer Steve Schoepke, who came to the rescue the same day.

Family members were delighted to receive help and gratefully worked along side the volunteers. Through this layered approach to repairs and modifications we were able to address 17 critical health and safety issues for the family and their home now meets all 25 of RT-AFF’s Health and Safety Priorities. Check out our Flickr albums for more project pictures.

Pictured below are our partners from Faith Church Kingstowne.

2020 IFDA-DC Masquerade Ball Benefitting Rebuilding Together – AFF

Event Update!
The 2020 Masquerade Ball hosted by the International Furnishings and Design Association – DC Chapter (IFDA-DC) raised almost $9,000 for RT-AFF’s programs. We want to express our thanks and appreciation to all of the IFDA-DC volunteers who worked long and hard to make the Ball an amazing and successful event in support of safe and healthy housing. Little did we know that a week after the Masquerade Ball we would be working from home and practicing social distancing.
Masquerade Ball Volunteers
Pictured above from left to right are Chris Gribbs (RT-AFF Board Member), Patti Klein (RT-AFF Executive Director), Laura Hildebrandt (IFDA-DC Volunteer), Michele Fick (IFDA-DC Board Member), Jean Edwards (RT-AFF Board Member), Debbie Harp (IFDA-DC Board Member), Andrew Dumont (RT-AFF Board Member) and Rebecca Penno (IFDA-DC President).

Read more

Rebuilding Together – AFF is Top-Rated Nonprofit for 2019

“We are honored to be named a 2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit,” says Patti Klein, RT-AFF Executive Director.

“We are proud of our accomplishments his year and want to extend our thanks and share this award with all of our volunteers and supporters.”

The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is the based on the rating and number of reviews that Rebuilding Together – AFF received from volunteers, donors
and homeowners. One of our reviewers wrote “Volunteering with RT-AFF has been very enlightening as far as seeing others in need, and how kindhearted volunteers step up to help when and where they can. This non-profit brings out the best in people, and has been a heartwarming experience for me personally.”
“Rebuilding Together – AFF is a great example of a nonprofit making a real difference in their community,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “Their award is well-deserved recognition not only of their work, but the tremendous support they receive, as shown by the outstanding reviews they have received from people who have direct experience volunteering with them.”

American Trucks Positive Payload Program Supports RT-AFF

Rebuilding Together – AFF is pleased to announce that we’ve received a contribution from the American Trucks Positive Payload Program. American Trucks established the Positive Payload program in April 2017 to support non-profit organizations using pickup trucks in field work that improves local communities.

RT-AFF doesn’t own a truck, but we are fortunate that a several of our volunteers regularly bring their trucks to help us get materials and supplies to our project sites to help homeowners in need in our community.

You can learn more about the Positive Payload program here: https://www.americantrucks.com/positive-payload.html

Pictured below are (l-r) Scott Cambell, Doug Chapin, Alberto Chalmeta, Rich DiGiovanna, and Dick Meyers. The truck belongs to Dick Meyers, who’s been volunteering for Rebuilding Together-AFF more than 20 years. The team was making repairs for a Fairfax homeowner including repairing her back fence and shed door, air sealing her attic for energy efficiency, and installing a grab bar, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and a fire extinguisher.

 

 

Fannie Mae – 7 Days to SERVE

We couldn’t have asked for better weather or a more dedicated group of volunteers as we partnered with Fannie Mae during 7 Days to SERVE, their concentrated week of community service activities. During 7 Days to SERVE Fannie Mae employees volunteer with non-profit partners like Rebuilding Together -AFF who provide services to address housing related issues and build more sustainable communities. “7 Days to SERVE gives us the opportunity to support the communities where we live and work,” said Carla Nelson, Community Relations Specialist. “And it helps our employees by fostering long lasting relationships, provides leadership opportunities and helps people grow both personally and professionally.”

On our first day together a team of Fannie Mae volunteers made safety repairs for Mrs. B at her home in Arlington. She’s lived there for 51 years and takes great pride in making sure things are neat and tidy, but larger repairs and maintenance projects are beyond her means and abilities. That’s why volunteers like the Fannie Mae team are important.

“I wanted a project that was not only going to help someone in need, but also let me and my team get out of the office, get a little dirty and work with our hands,” said Fannie Mae team leader Mark Ribeiro.  “Since we are an IT organization we spend a lot of time doing “brain” work. Volunteering to help RT-AFF and Mrs. B gave my group an opportunity to bond, and perhaps try some tasks/tools that were new to them.”  Read more

Lowe’s Grant Funds Deep Repairs for Alexandria Family of 12

“This is one of the first times we’ve felt a sense of community in our neighborhood,” said Mrs. A as she watched the team of Rebuilding Together-AFF volunteers working on projects all around their Alexandria home. She and her husband have worked hard at their jobs so they can provide a solid foundation for their 10 children. Their eldest son, serving in the army in Afghanistan, sent a message to the volunteers. “Thank you for being there and helping my family. I’d be there with you if I could.” Their second oldest, a daughter, has graduated from college – an accomplishment they are very proud of. She lives in Miami and is looking for work in her field. The family lives in a small split level home with their 8 younger children who range in age from 5 to 19. The A’s worked hard to buy the home and provide a nurturing environment for their family, but two years ago Mr. A had a serious health event that compromised his ability to repair and maintain their home, something that he had proudly done his entire life.  Read more

Sears Heroes@Home Volunteers Help Multi-generational Veteran Family

On July 17, 2018 Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church and Sears partnered in Alexandria to serve a multi-generational veteran family as part of the Sears Heroes at Home program. Read more

National Rebuilding Day 2018

Thank you and congratulations to all of our House Captains and volunteers who worked on National Rebuilding Day and the days and weeks surrounding April 28th.

With the support of over 650 community members, 29 low-income families and non-profit organizations that house and serve vulnerable populations in our area are now safer and healthier places to live. It’s amazing to see so many people working together on National Rebuilding Day, helping their neighbors remain in their homes by making critical repairs like building new and stable steps with hand rails, fixing plumbing leaks, modifying bathrooms for wheelchair users, replacing windows to make homes safer and more energy efficient and so much more. Read more