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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.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I have been a donor for several years and I'm thrilled with what RTP has done. I've visited several of the sites during the work, and it's very exciting to see what's happening and how the homeowners and their communities benefit from the work. The spirit is infectious. Ed B


Rating: 4

As a regular donor, RTP Philadelphia communicates with me how the funds have been used and the organization clearly demonstrates the impact it has on local communities.


Rating: 5

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is the one Non-Profit that I give to regularly. As a donor I can see a direct correlation between what I give and the work they do. And what they do is SO important. People helping people LIVE the best lives they possibly can. And it's not only the recipients that gain from the work RTP does - the volunteers do as well. It is inspiring to see what a group of people can do if they put their hearts, minds and some heavy lifting into it!



Rating: 5

RPT is great for a number of reasons. One, you can see your dollars at work in a very actionable way; whole neighborhoods transform, unlivable houses become livable, families that might have been turned out in the street have homes again. Next, the goals are attainable; they're not curing cancer, they're helping other members of the community on an actionable timeline. Finally, the people they're helping are people with a vested interest in picking up the torche once they're done; these are homeowners who've houses have fallen into disrepair, can't afford to fix it themselves, and who would otherwise become homeless were it not for the good work RPT does.