It all started back in 2008, when 67-year-old Janet, life long resident of Orlando, FL, was in a car accident. That is when the health problems began, she told Rebuilding Together Orlando during an interview. The accident caused major spine damage. As a result, Janet had 2 disks removed from her spine and was bedridden for a month. “It’s depressing, being confined to your bed, unable to walk or perform everyday tasks. I had to quit my job. I became very depressed, I developed depression.” Janet’s health condition worsened from then on out. Arthritis, a build-up of masses in her heart, she was developing chronic illness after chronic illness. “I became unable to take care of myself, let alone my home. I used to have the best looking house on the block, I just couldn’t keep up with it anymore”.
A safe and healthy home
Rebuilding Together of Central Florida (RTCFL) is a nonprofit dedicated to helping its neighbors in the Central Florida Community community have a safe, healthy living environment. Janet contests that the state of her home directly correlates with her health issues. She may just be right. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine performed a study on the health hazards of damp indoor spaces. The results concluded frequent exposure leads to respiratory illnesses. Upper respiratory symptoms of the throat and nose, coughing, wheezing, and asthma symptoms. Other hazards of these unhealthy home conditions include shortness of breath and the development of asthma in those who formerly did not suffer from it. There are also findings of lower respiratory issues, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath in healthy children. For Janet, exposure to these unhealthy elements in her home caused her current health problems to worsen. Living in an unhealthy home also made her more susceptible to other illnesses, which her already fighting body now has to defend. Sick, tired, and in need of a helping hand, Janet reached out to Rebuilding Together of Central Florida.
Advent Health: A company supporting the community.
December 11th, 2019, was a cloudy cool day, perfect for working on a home. With a team of about 20 volunteers, Advent Health transformed Janet’s home from shab to chic. Advent Health employees praise their company for making it so simple for them to enroll in volunteer projects. One volunteer said “We log on to our website, and there is a drop-down menu of volunteer projects we can sign up for. It’s really great. Advent Health makes it so simple to support the community, and we all really love it.” Another Advent Health employee said “It's so much fun. We create memories and work as a team. We all have inside jokes, and stories from all the times we’ve worked on volunteer projects together.” After a hard day of work, all the volunteers got together for a group photo in front of the transformed home. Janet thanked everyone for coming and said she's now back in the running for the best looking house on the block.
A Promising Future For Safe and Healthy Homes
Living up to their motto “doing good for our community” Advent Health has already committed to working on 4 projects with RTCFL in the upcoming year of 2020. Rebuilding Together of Central Florida has a vision for safe housing and communities for everyone. If you feel that you need a helping hand, or know someone that may benefit from RTCFL's resources, visit www.rebuildingtogethercfl.org.