August 2020


Inequities and Trends for Female Heads of Households

The number of female heads of household has consistently risen over time. Just 10 years ago, the Center for American Progress put out a study noting a new trend in rising female heads of household. Now, that number has increased even more, making single mothers the primary source of income in 41% of homes, earning at least half of the income for the household. The increase in female heads of household has taken a steady increase from 1997 to 2017, when the Center for American progress put out another study. See below, the figure from the Center for American Progress details the increase of bread-winning mothers from 1967 to 2017.

While these numbers have been rising, it is important to note the economic state of these households which affect working women who are trying to support a family. Although the number of bread-winning women has steadily increased in the past 20 years, the work-family model remains systemically unsupported. Paired with that, full time working women still only make 81% of what full time working men make on average. This affects the state of the household and the home, creating a disparity for female heads of household.

This makes it harder for these households to support themselves on a day to day basis, let alone be able to take care of their home properly. Rebuilding Together has affiliates across the United States that work to provide healthy homes for those who need it the most, including female heads of household living in low-income homes.

The Center for American Progress also found that mothers in low income families are more likely than their high-income counterparts to be the breadwinners. This illustrates the point that women as heads of household are more likely to live in poverty, more likely to be working the minimum wage jobs, and having to take care of their families on their own. This disparity is socioeconomic and cultural, as our culture perpetuates a standard for women that does not include single working mothers and often overlooks the struggles that are inherent in this role.

Creating an environment that is safe and healthy for every home should be inherent, and easy to attain. And yet, single female head of households have to work twice as hard to provide for their families and often live in residences that need the most work done.

Rebuilding Together works to help the households and homeowners who need it most, and strives to make housing more equitable in the areas we serve. The work we do will always strive to meet the needs of the homeowner and help make their home healthier and safer. In 2019, 71% of the homes surveyed after being served by Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan were owned by women.

Today, we wanted to make this blog post and recognize National Women’s Day and the work that all women do to take care of themselves, their homes, families and communities. Every time work is done in the area of recognizing socioeconomic inequities for women, it is a reminder that we all can support women in different ways in our respective roles. Supporting organizations that prioritize the health of low-income families and keeping ourselves educated on the struggles of women are all great ways to stay engaged and connect with the communities across the US that are affected by these inequitable practices every day.

Article link:

The Anniversary of Hurricane Harvey – A Time to Reflect

Multiple states and agencies nationwide were called to assist citizens impacted by the epic amount of rainfall in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez)

Today marks 3 years since Hurricane Harvey swept through Southern Texas producing $125 billion in damage. With nearly 135,000 homes destroyed and 13 million people affected, Harvey was the second most costly and damaging hurricane to hit the U.S. since 1900. Because of the large impact this storm had, many are still recovering from the devastation that struck. Today, we take a moment to remember those deeply affected by losses from August 25th, 2017, the beginning of a horrible disaster.

With around 60,000 people dying a year due to natural disasters of many kinds, it seems like there should be more resources to help those in typically affected areas prepare for such events so they can not only stay safe but try to retain their homes so less are homeless in the aftermath. Wanting to put more efforts toward disaster relief, Rebuilding Together created a new program designed specifically for disaster resiliency. Initially, the main focus was on recovery and rebuilding after a natural disaster strikes. Within the last year, Rebuilding Together decided to expand its scope and include four major aspects when looking at disaster resiliency and what that means – mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Through this came the disaster resiliency fellowship that is now offered to AmeriCorps members in certain locations. They work to not only pick up the pieces after a storm but help that area prepare beforehand so the aftermath is less devastating. Initial mitigation and preparedness are huge steps that are often lacking so we turned our efforts in that direction in hopes that it will lessen the damage repair needed to be done in the last stage of responding to the crisis.

Rebuilding Together, as a national organization, works to not only provide safe and healthy homes but also strives to be a resource for many in horrible situations like those who have lost homes due to a natural disaster. While we continue to grow our services, we also always encourage communities to stick together. There is a lot of power behind neighbors helping neighbors.

Link to article referred to in this blog post:

2017 Hurricane Harvey: Facts, FAQs, and how to help


High Senior Death Rate in Wayne County Causes Concern

For many years, there has been a clear issue in the city of Detroit – there is an increasing number of older adults with chronic illness and no sign in sight of increasing resources to fit their needs. The Detroit Area Agency on Aging and Wayne State University Medical School teamed up to examine the death rate demographics in Detroit in comparison to surrounding cities and the evidence was quite shocking. The article states, “the death rate is 122% higher for people ages 50-59 in Detroit and the neighboring suburbs in comparison to those of the same age in the rest of Michigan.” One of the driving factors behind this statistic is the poor quality of life for many. With unhealthy living conditions in homes and little access to affordable resources to fix these issues, many homeowners are not living in a safe space.

An even more shocking figure in the article shows “the average life expectancy of Midtown Detroit residents is 69, which is 13 years shorter than residents of the Grosse Pointe area, a few miles away.” How can there be such a gap in the health of these city’s residents with just a few miles separation? To take a closer look into this, about one in five older adults in Metro Detroit live in poverty, more than double the state rate. Comparing this to Grosse Pointe where the poverty rate is only around 6%, below the state rate, you can see the difference in the ability to access resources needed to live a fully healthy life therefore extending the life expectancy rate.

Seeing how prevalent these issues are reminds us of the need for more organizations to exist to provide necessary resources to the many that never receive them. While Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan tries to reach as far and wide as we can to provide maximum service, we are still very limited in our own resources. However, we try to take this information and use it in determining who and where there is the greatest need for service. In our home repair efforts in 2019, 46% of the homes we worked on had at least one older adult resident. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to seek out this population and we are always looking for outreach opportunities to expand our abilities so that we are truly working to live out our mission. Repairing homes, Revitalizing communities, Rebuilding lives.

To read the full article this information was drawn from, click the link below:



My Beginning-AmeriCorps Outreach Coordinator Oakland County

Hi, my name is Aliza and I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself to the Rebuilding Together community. I started my service here two weeks ago as an AmeriCorps Outreach Coordinator for Oakland county. Before beginning this position, I graduated from Wayne State University in May with a degree in political science. I am very interested in urban design, community organizations and building, and nonprofit service work, which is how I came to this position at Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan. I look forward to learning more about the nonprofit sector, how Rebuilding Together contributes to the communities of Oakland and Wayne county, and help residents in these areas. Through the direct communication I am responsible for with homeowners, I hope to gain the experience of working empathically and practically through homeowner inquiries and projects. I am incredibly excited to continue working and learning alongside these communities, and making sure the resources Rebuilding Together provides are accessible to Oakland and Wayne county!


My Beginning – AmeriCorps Outreach Coordinator Wayne County

Hello! I am Lindsey Johnson, one of the newest AmeriCorps members with Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan. A few things about my background that led me to start this journey: I graduated from James Madison University in Virginia in December 2019 with a degree in Hospitality Management. I took a job right after graduating but due to COVID-19 I became one of many that were laid off. In the hunt for a new job, I came across the opportunity to serve with AmeriCorps, something I had never heard of prior to then. I really enjoyed the idea of being able to take a degree and work experience that is much different than the work done in a nonprofit like Rebuilding Together and be able to bring a unique perspective to it. I am most looking forward to learning as much as I can about the nonprofit world during my time here and see where that will lead me going into a new career in the future. I believe this experience could greatly shift my career focus which is a huge excitement for me. I am thrilled to embark on this journey as an AmeriCorps Outreach Coordinator for Wayne County!



27840 Independence Street

Farmington Hills, MI 48336


Oakland County : 248-482-8061

Wayne County :  313-766-4010


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