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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Home Improvement & Repairs, Homeless & Housing, Housing Rehabilitation

Mission: Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP) is a secular, non-profit corporation that organizes volunteers to make essential home repairs for low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia. Since it was founded in 1988, more than 21,000 volunteers have contributed over 250,000 hours, resulting in the rehabilitation of 713 houses and 22 community agencies. The work of these volunteers, in addition to donated materials and funds, is estimated to have been worth almost eighteen million dollars. The work is done at no cost to homeowners, although homeowners and their families are encouraged to work alongside volunteers to the best of their abilities. Roughly 95% of the labor is volunteer.

Every year, hundreds of RTP volunteers are organized to rebuild crumbling walls, floors, roofs and porches; repair heaters, plumbing and wiring; and plaster and paint. Construction is completed by the third Saturday in April of every year. This year, RTP will be repairing the houses of 50 homeowners and working on three special projects. Work is scheduled to be finished by April 22, 2006.

Our focus on aid to existing homeowners is unique, and has allowed RTP to forge partnerships with other community- and faith-based organizations, university and school groups, and many Philadelphia corporations. These groups organize teams of volunteers to undertake the work, donate funds and materials, and many are also involved in helping homeowners in need to find RTP.

Programs: An integrated program is provided through a core block build strategy. In 2012-2013, the rtp staff engaged 1,500 volunteers in serving 84 homeowners and three organizations and transformed four lots/community gardens. To do this, volunteers worked alongside families to make essential home repairs ranging from carpentry, plumbing, and electrical to painting and reorganizing. This also restores value to home. Energy-efficient upgrades include ensuring that every homeowner has a functioning heater and a sound roof. Home modifications for older adults and people with disabilities are routine component of work scopes. Rtp has developed a sophisticated process for assessing and improving the safety of the home by adapting living spaces so homeowners remain as mobile and independent as possible. As a member of a national healthy homes consortium, rtp can address indoor environmental health issues such as lead paint, radon, asthma triggers and other hazards. Exterior work to homes, street beautification, and stormwater management projects also are central to revitalizing communities.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I remember working in one home where we redid the kitchen. The transformation was incredible - what was once a dilapidated room with a sink was now a fully functioning kitchen. Even better than that the homeowner continued to work on her home even after RTP left. She became more motivated to work in her community, and I remember seeing her often at future RTP events. Recently, I volunteered with the Committee of Seventy on Election Day. My role was to bike to different polling locations around the city to make sure the voting process was going smoothly. When I arrived at one of the locations, I met the same homeowner standing outside. She was already volunteering there and urging passersby to vote. Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is an incredible organization which works to revitalize and inspire neighborhoods. This story is just one example of the ripple effect RTP has had on a community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure to work with RTP for several projects, and can truly say that the dedication and effort of the staff to serving the low-income homeowners of Philadelphia is tremendous. They are a hardworking, can-do team with a great attitude and a big heart.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for many organizations on a yearly basis and I get to see and compare how things are run and how they affect the the homeowners they serve. RTP is top notch. They use their money well, they organize and motivate their volunteers , and when you are on a project you really get a feel for how much impact they make in the community. RTP changes people's lives and they do it with such an amazing uniqueness. Join/volunteer for this organization and you too will feel and see how amazing RTP is. Volunteer to help change the lives of others and walk away changed yourself!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is a great community of volunteers! The groups mission of allowing homeowners to stay in their "warm, safe, dry" homes is met at every event. Skilled and non-skilled volunteers work together along with homeowners and community members to complete critical repairs and maintenance. RTP Block Builds work to engage communities and help to restore a sense of pride in home ownership and community. RTP builds lasting relationships with homeowners, communities and volunteers. It is easy to say 'Yes' every time a new project is announced.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our organization, Bike & Build, has worked with RTP for several years through various builds. We operate cycling trips to young adults who raise money and awareness for the affordable housing cause, so RTP has been a beneficiary of our work across multiple years and rides. We keep coming back because each experience is better than before. The work that they are doing to revitalize neighborhoods in Philadelphia, especially in communities that are home to many low-income residents, is extremely important, and they are well-equipped to make a huge difference. We are very proud of our relationship with Rebuilding Together Philly!