Updated: May 1
Altamonte Springs, Fla. - (May, 1st, 2020) - Rebuilding Together of Central Florida (RTCFL) responds to urgent COVID-19 need with the DIY Healthy Home Supply. The purpose of the event is to provide free do-it-yourself home repair items to homeowners in need to help them in their efforts to create a healthy home so that they can safely shelter in place.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, the urgent calls for help have increased at Rebuilding Together. The nonprofit organization typically repairs homes through the help of volunteers, but current social distancing concerns for the community and RTCFL homeowners have slowed critically needed work. To help keep our neighbors safe, RTCFL coordinated a drive-through giveaway of over 50 customized Do-It-Yourself Healthy Home Supply kits for homeowners on our list. The kits are stocked with new air filters, light bulbs, energy efficient shower heads, smoke detectors and much more. On Friday, May 1, homeowners will pick up their kit from the RTCFL office in Altamonte Springs, from the safety of their cars. This event will kick off the Safe at Home Central Florida Campaign, and help to highlight the issues our neighbors living in substandard housing face.
RTCF provides free critical home repair, as well as homeowner education. The kits include a guide on how homeowners can assess their own home for critical health and safety measures, with practical tips on making home safer. By distributing these supplies at no cost to homeowners, RTCFL seeks to reduce the barriers that stand between a family and their safety. RTCFL will resume repair work with volunteer groups when it is safe to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Central Florida Community immensely. We are staying home because that is what keeps us safe, but we must consider how those who are already living in unsafe homes will be impacted. Not only does their home effect their physical health, it can impact mental health and overall well being too. Homeowners are sheltering in place 24/7 live with constant reminders of how urgently their home needs repairs.
“There are folks living in our community who don’t have running water. There are disabled children who can’t move freely around their homes because the walls aren’t wide enough for their wheelchair. There are veterans living with mold and breathing problems. The pandemic has shed light on this problem. It’s unsafe to be in public, and for some of our neighbors, it’s not much safer at home” said Abby Lemay, Executive Director at RTCFL.
In a time where we can all use a colorful pick-me-up, RTCFL is proud to partner with Dulakis Painting, who has donated gallons of paint to the give away event. “Rebuilding Together is about neighbors helping neighbors. We’re looking for volunteers, and skilled trade professionals to join our Safe at Home Central Florida efforts to help us rebuild Central Florida together”, said Nikki Aviles, Development and Communications Coordinator. RTCFL is seeking support from individuals, skilled trade professionals, and companies interested in giving back. For more information visit Rebuilding Together of Central Florida's website.
About Rebuilding Together of Central Florida
Rebuilding Together of Central Florida (RTCFL) envisions a community where everyone has safe and healthy housing. Our mission is to repair homes, revitalize communities and rebuild lives, and we achieve that mission by providing free, critical home repair to our neighbors in need in Orange and Seminole Counties. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization partners with contractors, volunteers and community organizations to help seniors age in place, veterans live in dignity, and ensure that families can pass their home down for generations to come. By building a network of neighbors helping neighbors, RTCF repairs homes, community centers, churches, and nonprofit spaces neighborhood by neighborhood revitalizing communities one [re]build project at a time.
Since its 2002 inception, RTCFL has served more than 500 Central Florida homeowners with home repair, modifications and supplies ranging from exterior painting and beautification, to weatherization, handyman work, roof replacement and more. In 2019 alone, RTCFL served 71 homeowners with critical repairs, rebuilding the lives of 213 individuals. Since home repairs are tailored to the specific needs of each dwelling, outcomes vary by project; but all are geared to improving the quality of life for the homeowners and their families.