• Rebuilding Together

Vivian Olson - A Life Rebuilt

Ms. Olson has been living in her 1066 square foot home for the past 43 years. The home she grew up in, the home she raised her family in. A long time Central Florida resident, Vivian can recall a time before the hustle and bustle of our community today. Behind every front door is a story of home. Behind Vivian's front door are decades of stories and memories. It's not so much the home we love, but the memories we make in the home. That sense of relief coming home from a long day of work. The feeling of comfort, and security. Progressing years took a toll on Vivian's health and home. Attempts to maintain the home she once knew and loved fell short due to poverty and hardships. Her happy home soon became a place she no longer recognized. Until she heard about Rebuilding Together of Central Florida.

Rebuilding Together of Central Florida provides free critical home repair to neighbors in need. Since 2002, Rebuilding Together of Central Florida has been an advocate for safe and healthy housing in Central Florida. With nothing left to lose, Vivian sent in her application for free critical home repair to save her beloved home. It was not long before she received the call that would answer her prayers.

Vivian's once cottage-like home was in a state of disrepair. The outside of the home was in a dreary state. Overgrown foliage and a build-up of debris took spotlight over the home itself. Chipping paint, dirt, and mold-covered the exterior walls. Yard work and outdoor labor is not a task for the elderly. Even light landscaping became an impossible task for Vivian in the hot Florida temperatures and scorching sun.

Immediately upon entering the home major health issues were visible. An extensive black mold was present in every room. Asbestos was present in the old tile flooring. There had been no running water for two years. Flooring in multiple rooms was lifting or missing. The house was no longer a home for Vivian. Vivian's home was so damaged that her family could not come to visit her. She missed being able to spend time with her young grandson. In every room she entered was a memory of what used to be, paired with the burden she was now faced with today.

"There are just so many people to thank. So many people played a part that I know we can never repay them, but I hope they know how truly grateful we are. All the companies who donated time, materials, expertise, skill, and friends, family members, community members and even strangers who contributed monetary donations all play a part in bringing my home back. Rebuilding Together truly showed what it means to be "rebuilding together." God Bless you all. " - Vivian Olson

It takes a village to repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives. Partners, sponsors, and volunteers all went above and beyond, each doing their part to help a neighbor in need. Rebuilding Together of Central Florida partnered with DryFast to remove the mold, Deacon Environmental for asbestos remediation. Spectrum, Eraclides Gelman, Orchid Medical, and Jewett Orthopaedic employees all volunteered. With so many helping hands, it wasn't long before Vivian's house was transformed into a safe and healthy home.

Having a safe and healthy home is so important. Vivian's story is one that is similar to many. Rebuilding Together of Central Florida has a mission to repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives. Our vision is that one day, every family in Central Florida will have a safe and healthy place to call home. Vivians story has a happy ending. To this day, her home is a place she is proud of. Thanks to the work of Rebuilding Together, its partners, and supporters Vivians story has a happy ending. Her home is safe and healthy. A place she is proud of. To this day, Vivians grandson comes to visit her often, staying in the room Rebuilding Together built especially for him.

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