Every last Saturday in April is National Building Day for Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh (RTP), a nonprofit organization that repairs homes of low income elderly and disabled in some of Pittsburgh’s poorest neighborhoods. This year it’s April 28th. The home repairs are at no cost to homeowners living in Allegheny County. The vast majority of manpower is comprised by over a 1,000 devoted volunteers, both professionals and every day folks that want to contribute to the cause. Commercial sponsors help in skilled manpower and monetary donations, particularly the Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters Council.
According to RTP, “With 60% of the homes in our city having been built prior to 1940, and (Allegheny County) being the second largest senior population in America, the need for this critical service is greater than ever.”
RTP plays a major role in redeveloping and preservation of communities primarily in the Hill District, West End and Penn Avenue neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. These communities have been heavily hit by economic decline and blight.
Safety issues due to run-down properties, increase the risk of falling, threatening to prevent “aging in place” at home, where seniors long to stay.
Seniors living in homes where there are crumbling cement sidewalks and steps, old windows letting the heat escape, and plumbing as old as the house, face mounting and overwhelming repair costs.
RTP has three components of its program to aid in elderly low income home repairs:
- Community Block Model
- Operation Urgent Care
- Veteran’s Housing
Community Block Model works in a neighborhood, or city block striving to do critical repairs of up to 30 homes. These areas include the Hill District, West End and Penn Avenue neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, communities most heavily hit by economic decline.
Operation Urgent Care provides free critical repair services twelve months a year to elderly homeowners throughout Allegheny County. This flexible program also allows us to respond to emergency requests, such as sewer back up or a broken hot water heater in the middle of winter.
Veterans Housing fills the gaps in modifications and repair services that retired and active service men and women struggle to meet.
To see if you are eligible for help from Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh go here.
If you would like to volunteer to help, go here.
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