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home : premium content : news May 23, 2016

2/13/2013 1:31:00 PM
Rebuilding Together program looking for local applicants

Kacie Thrift
Staff writer

When the roof is leaking, fridge is empty, stairs are broken, and little money in the bank, it's hard to decide how to take care of all the problems. Rebuilding Together is a non-profit organization looking for homes in the Greater Wenatchee Valley area that need fixing up.

Marilyn Lancaster, a spokesperson for the local Rebuilding Together group, said when food needs to be put on the table and medications need to be paid for, people don't have the resources to fix things when they break inside of their homes.

Rebuilding Together is a nonsecretarian, volunteer organzation whose mission is to bring volunteer and communities together to improve the homes and lives of homeowners in need. Each year on the third Saturday of May, volunteers gather together to help fix up 15-17 homes in the area for homeowners who can't afford to fix it on their own.

"This is an opportunity for those who want to continue to stay in their home, but are not able to take care of the repairs, to stay there," Lancaster said. "And it's not just one thing. Some of these folks have lived in their homes for many years and things need to be done."

Rebuilding Together has a priority to provide a warm, safe, and healthy environment for the elderly, disabled, Veterans, and families with children in Chelan and Douglas counties. Last year, the organization worked on 17 homes in the two counties; one in Cashmere and two in Leavenworth.

Applicants are now being accepted for the 2013 workday. Lancaster said to apply for home repairs you must be the homeowner, reside in the home, show proof of ownership and homeowners insurance, have an income for the entire household of less than $27,000 a year, and the homeowner must be present on the work day.

Around 150-200 volunteers gather within the community and spread out across the two counties to help fix many problems in homes such as plumbing or electrical repairs, painting, windows, porches or stairs that need replacing and more. Rebuilding Together also helps with the needs such as installing ramps, and grab bars in bathrooms.

"Our elderly population is growing each and every year and this need is going to be more and more. These folks need assistance and many of these folks are at poverty level so it becomes choice of do I fix my home or do I pay my bills," Lancaster said.

Rebuilding Together wants to make that decision for you and help with home repairs. Through monetary and material donations, this organization is able to come together once a year to help those in need.

Lancaster said the goal is to have another 15-17 houses this year and spend around $1,500 on each house. All of the work is volunteer-based and the budget goes toward materials.

Rebuilding together is in need of applicants but is also in need of donations to defray the cost of the materials to repair homes and volunteers. Lancaster said the economy has been difficult on all of us and even more so for those who are the below poverty level and need to decide if they use their money for medical needs or for home repairs. She said the non-profit chooses clients who are unable to do the repairs on their homes and do not have the financial means to hire someone to help them.

"We are all going to be there some day," Lancaster said. "When I talk to people, I say 'what if this was your mother or father in the situation and you were not able to help them?' Wouldn't you like there to be an organization to do repairs and make it easier for your parents to live in their right home?"

Lancaster, who has been with the organization since the local branch started in 2000, said being a part of Rebuilding Together is the most rewarding thing she has ever done. She said it feels good not to just talk about helping people but actually seeing it happen.

"You go visit the people and find the people who need help and you see the project all the way through," she said. "In the end you have this happy homeowner and it feels good to see something completed."

If you have a need, meet the criteria and are interested in filling out an application contact Marilyn Lancaster at 782-1028. You may also contact Lancaster if you are interested in volunteering. Deadline for turning in applications is March 1. If you would like to make donations to Rebuilding Together send it to: Rebuilding Together Greater Wenatchee valley P.O. Box 144, Monitor, WA. 98836.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 782-3781 or

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