|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (January 2009)|
Rebuilding Together (or RT) is a national US non-profit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing free home repairs and modifications to low-income homeowners. By utilizing CapacityCorps members, RT's own branch of AmeriCorps members, neighbor volunteers, skilled trades people, the support of local businesses and donors, and major corporate partners, RT is able to offer every repair at no cost to the homeowner.
Celebrating more than 25 years of service, Rebuilding Together collectively has completed work on more than 100,000 homes across the nation, which amounts to roughly 10,000 homes per year. With the help of 3.4 million volunteers and donors, RT has delivered over $1.5 billion in market value since its founding, transforming every $1 donated to RT into $4 to the community. Today, the Rebuilding Together Affiliate Network consists of 187 offices throughout the United States. Community-level RT offices act in partnership with and on behalf of Rebuilding Together Inc national headquarters, located in Washington D.C.. These local offices are called Rebuilding Together "affiliates," often abbreviated RT with the corresponding community affiliation (i.e. Rebuilding Together New Orleans is known as "RTNO").
Rebuilding Together continues forward with its mission of seeking to provide a safe and healthy home for every person by bringing neighbor volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. Inside this core mission, Rebuilding Together has several targeted programs that address the needs of specific homeowner populations: veterans, elderly, disabled, and others. The work of Rebuilding Together positively impacts the condition of the surrounding community as well, through community center rehabilitation, playground builds, and partnerships with organizations focused on energy efficiency, sustainable community gardens, volunteer engagement, and homeowner education. Home by Home, Block by Block, entire communities are transformed.
Rebuilding Together has seven national initiatives:
National Rebuilding Day
National Rebuilding Day is the signature event of Rebuilding Together. Held on the last Saturday in April, National Rebuilding Day is the day when affiliates plan projects to celebrate the organization’s mission and to bring national attention to the plight of America’s low-income homeowners. The day is embraced by community leaders and national corporate sponsors as a way of bringing impact to America’s communities in a single day.
Safe At Home
The goal of Rebuilding Together’s Safe at Home program is to address home repair and maintenance issues that present a safety risk, or limit the access to, or within the home. Rebuilding Together’s “Safe at Home” Program strategies include:
- broadening public awareness of the need for home safety and accessibility modifications;
- provide training and technical assistance on fall prevention methods and home safety strategies;
- expand the affiliate network’s competency in the delivery of home safety interventions;
- act as an information and referral resource on fall prevention and home safety subjects;
- advocate for the needs and of low-income homeowners particularly older adults, people living with disabilities, and multi-generational families.
Safety and Prevention are grouped into three categories: falls prevention, fire safety and prevention, and general safety.
Gulf Coast Operations
In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, RT launched the Gulf Coast Operations initiative and a commitment to rebuild 1,000 homes across the Gulf Coast. Rebuild 1000 is executed in partnership with its Gulf Coast affiliates, sponsors, and thousands of volunteers.
Rebuilding Together’s Veterans Housing was created to meet the needs of veterans from past and present wars. Rebuilding Together fills the gaps in modifications and repair services that retired and active service men and women struggle to meet.
Rebuilding Together Capacity Corps
Rebuilding Together’s AmeriCorps program, called the Rebuilding Together CapacityCorps is a National AmeriCorps* program of 70 full-time AmeriCorps members serving in 30 Rebuilding Together affiliates in 23 states. Rebuilding Together CapacityCorps members increase the capacity of Rebuilding Together affiliates to serve additional low-income homeowners through volunteer recruitment, client outreach, repairs for low-income homeowners, new project implementation, community partnership development, and program expansion.
Organizational Development Institute
The Organizational Development Institute was created to increase the training and technical services offered by the National Office to Rebuilding Together Affiliates. Through curricula, the Organizational Development Institute enriches affiliates’ abilities to revitalize their communities.
Rebuilding Together affiliates have been using green practices — and providing green home rehabilitation — since its founding. Through the repairs Rebuilding Together affiliates make, homeowners save money on utility bills, thrive in cleaner home environments and are better-able to afford other essential needs. Rebuilding Together’s Green Housing initiative brings funding, education, and expertise to the network of over 200 affiliates.
Rebuilding Together began with a small group of founding affiliates more than 30 years ago and continued to grow when the National Headquarters opened its doors in 1988. The Rebuilding Together network has completed more than 100,000 homes across the nation and has 2.5 million volunteers.
Rebuilding Together’s Mission Statement
“Bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of homeowners in need.”