Habitat’s Critical Repairs Rock the Block® One Home at a Time
Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity Continues to Revitalize Communities through its Rock the Block® Program
Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity (Greater Des Moines Habitat) kicked off the 2014 Rock the Block® season with a 3-day event April 15-17 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Park neighborhood. More than 200 volunteers worked alongside homeowners to complete the first 15 projects of the year. There are more than 100 Habitat Rock the Block® projects planned for the full season. This being the third consecutive year working with the Martin Luther King Jr. Park residents, Greater Des Moines Habitat has completed 73 home repair and maintenance projects and seven community space projects in the neighborhood. The organization has also built 18 new homes in the neighborhood.
Rock the Block® is part of Greater Des Moines Habitat’s neighborhood revitalization program. The housing outreach program assists very low-income homeowners with needed critical repairs, maintenance, weatherization, safety, accessibility and beautification projects. Each Habitat Rock the Block® event occurs in a targeted neighborhood where new home construction and renovation are in progress by Greater Des Moines Habitat or planned for the near future. Neighborhood residents and stakeholders agree to work closely with Greater Des Moines Habitat to improve their community.
“The event’s success and most enjoyable part is building connections and working closely with the MLK Jr. Park residents,” says Lance Henning, Executive Director of Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. “It’s the strong partnership with the neighborhood association and the neighborhood residents to identify the needs and work together to resolve their housing challenges that is most rewarding,” he added.
Charice Williams is a homeowner who partnered with Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity during the recent event. Volunteers repainted her home and replaced her oven with an energy efficient model. “I think Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity is a remarkable organization. The fact that they allow homeowners to be part of the project is amazing. I’m blessed that Habitat assisted me because I wouldn’t have been able to do this on my own at this point.” Charice describes herself as someone who does not easily accept handouts. She felt more comfortable receiving assistance from Greater Des Moines Habitat because of how the program worked. “I think it’s important to give back, so I’m going to do my sweat equity working on a construction site. I’m proud of how my house looks now and I truly appreciate Habitat’s help.”
Habitat Rock the Block® volunteers worked on a variety of projects including installing siding, replacing windows, painting fences, building handrails and more. In 2014, Greater Des Moines Habitat’s Rock the Block® program will assist more than 100 families in numerous neighborhoods, and is significantly supported financially by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. For more information and to volunteer visit www.gdmhabitat.org.