ST. LOUIS– Hundreds of volunteers hunkered down to make repairs to homes across the St. Louis area to improve the quality of life for the homeowners.
In the Baden neighborhood, one woman celebrating thirty years in her home got to watch it get some much-needed TLC.
Rebuilding Together St. Louis along with several partners started off with the steps leading up to Roberta Parks’ home. She said she is blessed to see this come together and excited to invite guests to the place she calls home.
The banging going on in the Baden neighborhood is a sound Roberta Parks said is heaven-sent.
“Oh my God! I jumped for joy! I called everybody I knew!” Parks said.
She got the news that after living on Annetta Street for a long time that her home was up next for the nonprofit, Rebuilding Together St. Louis, to make it much safer and more comfortable.
“When we do it, we see immediately what a difference it makes in somebody’s life,” said Elaine Powers, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together St. Louis.
The organization along with several partners like Keeley Construction will spend their own time bringing upgrades to the homes of seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. Organizers say it gives the homeowners a sense of pride and independence.
Powers said the recipients’ responses are, “Before, I couldn’t see. When I need to go to the bathroom at night, now I can see. I can reach the light switch. I can take laundry downstairs safely, and I no longer worry about falling.”
“Oh, this is truly a blessing,” Parks said. “I can’t believe it’s happening to me. They are doing repairs for me I wouldn’t have been able to do myself.
A big part of the repairs for Parks is the stairs leading to her home.
“No one that came to my house liked them. They were dangerous, and the railings were wobbly,” Parks said. “On the back steps, the nails were coming up out of the wood.”
They are also painting the kitchen, fixing loose tile, and replacing broken ceiling fans. Two hundred volunteers will make the same improvements for 20 households across St. Louis City and County throughout the fall.
It’s an experience both exciting and emotional.
“It’s a kind of a one in a lifetime type of experience. Sometimes we cry. Sometimes we laugh, but ultimately, we see great things,” Powers said.
Home is where the heart is, and as Parks watches the work on her home on Annetta Street, she’s already prouder to call it hers.
“People who have come up the steps already have said they really like my steps,” Parks said. “Everybody has been complementing those steps.”
If you would like to get on the list for repairs, you must call the organization and they will ask a few questions to check for eligibility. You can learn more about how to help by contacting Rebuilding Together St. Louis.