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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

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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.

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