Your donation supports Rebuilding Together NYC (RT NYC), a nonprofit organization who's mission is to repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives. RT NYC's core programs include Critical Home Repair, Accessibility Modifications, Community Revitalization, and Construction Workforce Training and Job Placement.
By participating in this Zoom workout, led by YMWREA, you will be directly supporting families like Jill's, who because of RT NYC's services, is able to safely shelter-in-place during this pandemic. To learn more about Jill and her family, please see below:
Jill M. is a retired public school teacher who lives in Jamaica, Queens with her daughter Jillian, and young-adult granddaughter. Prior to COVID-19, Jillian worked as a teacher's aid, though given the unfortunate circumstances, is currently unemployed. Her father (Jill's husband), Willie, passed away a few years ago. Rebuilding Together NYC (RT NYC) has been working with the family for a couple of years, completing the large scope of work in multiple phases.
Over this time, RT NYC:
- Repaired the roof, which sustained serious damage during Hurricane Sandy
- Completed a full re-siding and sealing, protecting the home from the elements, water damage, and pests
- Made accessibility upgrades to the bathroom, improving Jill's safe mobility, in addition to plumbing repairs
- Reinforced and addressed other structural issues the home had accumulated over the years
- For additional photos of this project, see here and here
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Jill remarked that the work completed by Rebuilding Together NYC had "changed everything" for the family. Now, the impact is of even high value, and "has allowed for their self-isolation to actually be healthy." Jill has eosinophilic asthma, a rare and severe type of asthma where white blood cells cause too much swelling in the airways and typically result in shortness of breath. Now that the home is sealed, and the ceilings are closed, there is less dust and moisture in the air that could trigger a severe reaction.
The family knows firsthand the potential high risk of contracting the disease, as they sadly lost Jillian's paternal grandmother to the virus a few weeks ago. Still, the women work to keep their spirits strong and are committed to remaining connected to their loved ones and neighbors, even at a distance. They will often greet neighbors from their yard, chatting to one another from six-feet away, or hop on the phone for a check-in with someone further away.
Jill hopes that through this experience, "people realize the value and fragility of life, and hopes that we are using this time given to us to reflect, turning away from hate, and moving closer towards being kind and gentle to our neighbors."
To learn more about Rebuilding Together NYC, please visit www.rebuildnyc.org