Blog - Rebuilding Together
Neighborhood organizations unified on Saturday, September 21st when Jefferson East, Inc and Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan teamed up to work in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood. The purpose of this workday was to work on the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s (MSHDA) Neighborhood Enhancement Program by doing projects that help beautify the neighborhood.
On Wednesday, September 11th, Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan partnered with Wells Fargo to do home repairs on homeowner Darlene’s home in Madison Heights. With a team 15 volunteers strong, we had a productive and fun day working together on the cherished home. Overall, we successfully landscaped the front and back yards, cleaned the walls and ceiling in the kitchen, replaced the bathroom floor, vanity, and mirror, repaired the shed, replaced the kitchen fan and light, and added an address plaque. For house captain of the project, Joann, this is her fourth year of volunteering with Rebuilding Together. As house captain, she held various responsibilities in making the volunteer day happen and run smoothly.
Hello to the Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan community! My name is Emma and I’ll be serving with Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan for the next ten and a half months as an AmeriCorp Outreach Coordinator. Many people wonder why I would want to do an AmeriCorp service year. To answer that, during university, I really found my home through service organizations. Within those organizations, I became dedicated and passionate about doing meaningful strong direct service, being involved in my community, and working towards being an active citizen. So following my graduation, AmeriCorps seemed like it might just be the perfect fit for me. I joined hoping that it would give me a genuine opportunity to bring those values with me into the “real world”. Although I’ve only just completed my national Rebuilding Together orientation, I feel confident that this position will allow me to do that.
I am Alexis Bruce a recent college graduate from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Studies. Growing up near Detroit’s Historic Boston-Edison District where there was an extreme diversity in housing and housing issues, I have always been intrigued by housing in Detroit. Throughout my college career, I have worked with organizations such as Detroit Eviction Defense and Habitat for Humanity, where I was exposed to some of the hardship that homeowner’s faced which furthered my interest in housing. With observation, experience, and research I began looking for an organization that I could join to help relieve some of the housing issues in my community. This brought me to AmeriCorps Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan.
I am committed to national service, so I was excited to learn about an opportunity to serve in Southeast Michigan with Rebuilding Together. I saw the position as a chance to get more involved in the community and make a positive impact near my hometown. As the client coordinator with Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan, I speak with prospective clients, process applications, and arrange home inspections.
I had never heard of AmeriCorps before happening upon the posting for Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan. I was working at a mortgage company, a position I took out of college, and I knew that I needed to make a change. I was unhappy with the work that I was doing, it was monotonous, boring, unchallenging. I envisioned myself 5, 10 years down the line, completely unsatisfied with my professional life. When I saw the posting for Outreach Coordinator here at RTSEM, I thought that this was the perfect opportunity for me. A 10.5-month program, it would allow me to explore and industry while I still had the time and flexibility to take such a position.
Talk is one thing, actually doing it is a completely different animal. All year at the office we talk about National Rebuilding Day. Most of the work that we do on a day to day basis, vetting applications, inspecting homes for potential projects, even the social media posts we make, point towards Rebuilding Day. While it is not our singular goal, it is the most important event that we have in the year. I had never experienced a Rebuilding Day before this year, and to be able to witness it was something special that I will not soon forget.
For MLK Week, AmeriCorps members from Rebuilding Together affiliates from across the country gathered for a week of service in New Orleans. It was an opportunity for us to serve our neighbors across the country, reflect on the impact of Dr. King, and so much more. It was a wonderful week full of introspection and teamwork. We AmeriCorps members were reunited with each other, having all met in August 2018 for training in Washington, D.C. Seeing all of these familiar faces during this week strengthened the bond that we established during that week in Washington. For the week, the AmeriCorps members were divided into three groups to do home repairs for three different families, two houses that needed to be completely repainted, and one house where a wheelchair ramp was being built for a disabled veteran.
Wow, what a great group of volunteers! The teams from Coretek showed up to Monique’s house in Farmington Hills ready to go. It was clear that this was a close knit group, everyone worked so well together. We appreciate all of the volunteers, especially our younger ones, for giving up two Saturdays to help out a family in need.
When a few good people come together and put in a little hard work, good things can happen. Good things were happening at the Keaton home in Southfield thanks to a great group of volunteers. On Friday, September 21st, we teamed up with a group of awesome people from Wells Fargo through their volunteer program, Wells Fargo Volunteers, to help out a very deserving family.
On Friday, September 14th the team from the Center for Financial Planning came out to Curtis Simpson’s house in Southfield to help make some repairs on his home. They were a great team, everyone worked hard and got along great with Curtis, who was an incredibly kind and friendly man.
We had a great time with Hope Community Church this past weekend, helping out three homeowners in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit, Ralph and Nicola on Friday and LaTina on Saturday. This was a particularly exciting weekend for us as it marked not only our first project in Jefferson-Chalmers but Detroit as a whole. And if our time there this past weekend is any indication of our future in Detroit, it is safe to say that things are looking bright.