Nonprofit rebuilds Peninsula homes

Linda Loveridge has a cozy place to spend the rest of her life — in her home, thanks to a Redwood City organization.

The 71-year-old, whose husband died two years ago, was struggling to keep up with repairs to her deteriorating house and was thinking about moving. But that is when Rebuilding Together Peninsula, a Redwood City nonprofit, came to her rescue.

In April, Loveridge’s home was one of 70 projects the organization and volunteers took on in the one-day build to upgrade homes and complete needed repair work to allow low-income families and seniors to stay in their homes.

“We help them live in safety, warmth and independence,” said Kate Comfort-Harr, development director for Rebuilding Together Peninsula.

Comfort-Harr said National Rebuilding Day, the last Saturday in April, brings together thousands of volunteers throughout the country to work on repairs. Since 1989, the organization has worked on 881 homes worth an estimated $27.5 million worth of repairs.

More work is needed, Comfort-Harr said. Because of the tremendous need, the organization accepts applications every year from June 1 through Oct. 31. The nearly 200 applications are narrowed down in January.

“The hardest part is choosing the projects,” Comfort-Harr said. “So we assess every application to make sure they meet requirements — that they are low-income and own the home — and we have the volunteers to complete the repair.”

But the one day in April isn’t the only time the nonprofit helps those in need. Comfort-Harr said many of the applications are retained, and throughout the year, the organization has at least half a dozen other home-build projects throughout the year to help those in need.

Project costs vary, depending on the work that needs to be done. Comfort-Harr said the organization has done all types of repair work from roof replacement to exterior yard work to window replacement for better insulation and heating with $800,000 each year.

“It’s about skill-matching,” she said. “If we have a volunteer that can do the work required, then we try our best to accommodate that project.”

Loveridge said she is grateful for her renovations including new tile floors, two new bathrooms, new carpet, paint and a front yard retaining wall.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done,” she said. “I needed it. The tile was badly cracked on the kitchen floor. I couldn’t have done it myself.”

By the numbers

200 Applications for annual National Rebuild Day
70 Projects chosen
$800,000 Amount of money for Peninsula projects
881 Homes rebuilt since National Rebuild Day began in 1989
71,800 Volunteers since 1989
$27.6 million Total amount of repairs made since 1989

Source: Rebuilding Together Peninsula

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