I began working with Rebuilding Together of Central Florida in January of 2020. As a soon-to-be homeowner living in a generational household, I started to experience first-hand the pain points of homeownership. Many long-standing homes are in constant need of repair and upkeep. Like many of the homeowners we serve, I fear the inability to maintain a safe and healthy home; and the consequences of what will happen if I forgo repairs.
Back in February, a pipe burst in my home. Water was seeping through my staircase, the pantry was flooded and water was leaking from the kitchen ceiling as if a rain cloud just entered my home. I immediately began to panic - will my insurance cover the leak? How much damage will this cause? When it was all said and done, I was left without running water for 4 days. I had to pay out of pocket for the repair and expenses up-front, and eagerly wait for a reimbursement check.
But, what if I didn’t have insurance? Or the ability to pay for the repair? How long could I function without running water? What if I had children? What sacrifices could I have made? I began to consider scenarios, maybe I could borrow the money or take out a loan. Maybe I could fix it myself, there had to be a how-to video on YouTube. Could I skip a mortgage payment? Would that even have been enough?
I can’t help but consider myself lucky. What would I have done had I not been able to cover the expenses?
These scenarios, that could have happened to me, are a reality for many of our neighbors. Owning a home is part of the American Dream, and that dream is being taken away from families every single day when they can’t afford to keep their homes safe and healthy.
I invite you to watch the video below, a recent interview between Chanel 9 News and homeowner aided by RTCFL. Consider yourself, your family, or friends being in this position. What would you do?
We all need a helping hand sometimes, and when we help our neighbors in need, our community thrives. Rebuilding Together of Central Florida provides homeowners with critical home repair so that they can remain stably housed in safe, healthy homes.
There are hundreds of homeowners in need of assistance, and we cannot do this alone. The only way to [Re]Build, is together. If you already live in a safe and healthy home, please consider contributing to RTCFL in a way that makes sense to you; volunteer your time, donate, or help spread the word.
If you are a Central Florida homeowner and you want to learn more about keeping a safe and healthy home, join RTCFL's new education program "Ready to [Re]Build". It's free, and all are invited! Visit www.rebuildingtogethercfl.org/r2r for more details.
Thank you for [Re]Building with us.
Nikki Aviles RTCFL Development Coordinator Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn!
Nikki Aviles attended Mount Saint Mary College with a major in Marketing and a Minor in Public Relations and Advertising. Upon completing her internship at Fortress Investments in New York, New York, she relocated to Orlando, FL. Orlando has been home to Nikki for 6 years. Since moving to Orlando Nikki has worked with numerous Central Florida organizations including Feeding Children Everywhere, American Foundation for the Blind, Orange County SPCA, Pilots and Puppies, and more.