Rebuilding Together Philadelphia: Non-profit repairing homes for free in West Philly

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PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, a non-profit organization, is spearheading the effort to repair ten homes for free on one block over a two-day period in West Philadelphia.

Part of their goal is to prevent gentrification by helping to maintain affordable housing.

The homes along South 59th Street near Chestnut Street in West Philadelphia are being transformed Friday and Saturday.

“I feel like it’s Christmas, you know,” said homeowner Lorraine Mobley.

Mobley is one of ten homeowners receiving home repairs for free.

“For the next 12 years, I don’t have to worry about my roof,” Mobley said.

This is all thanks to community collaboration.

“Rebuilding Together Philadelphia repairs 125 homes every year,” said Stefanie Seldin, President/CEO of Rebuilding Together Philadelphia. “Overall, we’re going to do 20 houses in this neighborhood and then next year, it’ll be another 20 and then another.”

The organization has been doing community work for more than 30 years with help from funding through donors, corporations and government support, according to Seldin.

The process starts with community partners knocking on doors, deciding which blocks to work on and then staff members examining the properties.

“Make a plan, say we need roofing, plumbing, electric, we bring in subcontractors that are staffed to do that and then we make a list of everything that we want the volunteers to be able to do,” Seldin said.

They couldn’t do it without professionals and volunteers. Seldin said t200 of them will be making a difference in the two days of repairs.

“This is my third block build. As a formerly incarcerated person, a guy who never went to a traditional school, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is an organization that really empowers regular people and allows them to thrive,” said filmmaker and volunteer Shuja Moore.

A major goal in completing the repairs is to help to keep longtime families in their homes.

“These projects bring hope back to a community,” Moore said.

The organization’s website has information about volunteering and donations. They said they could always use more funding and additional help.

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