Nashville: May 29, 30, 31
Unsafe or unhealthy living conditions at home are attributed to many of leading causes of preventable fatality, illness and disability in the United States today. Demonstrating the commitment to safe and healthy homes, Rebuilding Together, Rebuilding Together Nashville, and corporate and community partners, in conjunction with the National Healthy Homes Conference, led a major three-day rebuilding effort in Nashville, Tenn.
Hundreds of volunteers came together Thursday through Saturday, May 29 – 31, to work on 15 homes owned by low-income families, install a playground and revitalize the surrounding community with landscaping and other assistance.
View photos of the volunteers hard at work on our Flickr page.
For information on HUD’s National Healthy Homes Conference, please visit the Conference website.
HGTV and DIY Network stars, local music artists, and MyFixItUpLife joined the volunteers on Friday May 30.
Media Response to Building a Healthy Neighborhood
- 3BL Media: Official Press Release
- [VIDEO] WSMV NBC 4: Channel 4 partners with Rebuilding Together for home repair project
- [VIDEO] WTFV CBS 5: ‘Rebuilding Together’ Project Brings Boost To East Nashville Neighborhood
- [VIDEO] WZTV Fox 17: link currently not available
- Tennessean: Volunteers converge on East Nashville for home repairs
- East Nashvillian: Hope Rebuilt: Rebuilding Together renovates 15 Cleveland and McFerrin Park homes
Meet a few of the Homeowners:
Clifford and Sarah
Clifford and Sarah have been married for 19 years and have lived in their home for more than 20 years.They met at the hospital where Sarah worked as a nurse and Clifford worked cleaning the floors. It took a little persistence on his part, but two weeks later he got a date, and the rest is history. In 2012, Clifford got a minor cut on his foot which became severely infected. The doctors were forced to amputate his leg. About a year later a similar infection took root on the other side, and he lost that leg too. Sarah is retired now and takes care of him full-time. Clifford loves taking pictures and making videos, especially of his family, and creating music. He can even play tunes on his pocket trumpet. The two frequent the YMCA for exercise and enjoy being active. You can often find Clifford sitting out in the yard or grilling dinner.
Dorothy has been widowed for several decades but in her earlier days, she and her late husband raised nine children. She’s always bragging about the wonderful things that her children, 32 or so grandchildren, and ten great grandkids are doing. If you ask how many grandchildren there are she laughs and says she only counts them at weddings and funerals. Family is incredibly important and her house is filled with pictures of all her loved ones. Her home is special; it is where she has lived for over 40 years raising kids, grandkids and creating a lifetime of memories. Last year was the first year in long time she wasn’t able to host Christmas dinner for the whole family. Major roof leaks forced them to have dinner together at another family member’s house. In fact, when it rains during the night, she has a relative come over and stay with her to empty the buckets that collect water in the laundry room and kitchen. With the help she’s receiving from Rebuilding Together Nashville, Dorothy hopes to host Christmas dinner again this year.
Willie “Big Bucky” and Estella
Estella and Willie are long-time residents of McFerrin Park and have lived in their home for 40 years. Willie is better known as “Big Bucky” by his friends and neighbors. Estella went to grade school with Jewell, another homeowner Rebuilding Together has helped, who now lives directly across the street. Estella and Wille will be celebrating 50 years of marriage this fall. When the couple bought their home they knew it needed quite a bit of TLC. Throughout the years, they have worked to make improvements and repairs to their home. Both wish they still had the ability to repair their home as they enjoyed it. They continue to be gracious, watchful neighbors and family members. They often care for their great granddaughter who is 2 years-old and adores her “GG” and “Paw Paw”.
Jewell moved to McFerrin Park a few years after Estella and Willie and chose the house across the street. For the past 30 years, she and her late husband have enjoyed the community and their neighbors. Jewell has a huge heart and gives freely despite a tight budget. A few years ago, she took custody of a young girl who needed a loving home and someone to raise her. There was no hesitation and she’s made many personal sacrifices. The 6 year-old loves cheer-leading, reading books, making art and attending Girl Scout meetings. The carpeting in Jewell’s house is a grave health concern and is excited to have it removed. Her knees are wearing out and she worries about tripping on the carpet and falling. The carpet traps in dust and allergens that make it difficult to breathe. Jewell is most appreciative of the help she is receiving and thrilled to see the volunteers.
About the Cleveland and McFerrin Park Neighborhoods:
Cleveland and McFerrin Park chose us as much as we chose them. From the beginning, in early conversations, the two adjoining neighborhoods were excited and invested in Building a Healthy Neighborhood. Community leaders worked hard to have their neighborhood selected. Councilman Scott Davis pledged his support and desire to have Building a Healthy Neighborhood in his district from the beginning. Both neighborhoods have totally embraced Rebuilding Together Nashville and have welcomed us into their community. The residents and leaders alike have served as powerful ambassadors for Rebuilding Together.
Cleveland and McFerrin Park are going through an exciting transition, a transition Rebuilding Together believes it can help. During the past few years, crime has decreased, services have increased, and investors and realtors are buying and renovating properties. Increasingly, Cleveland and McFerrin Park are places where people want to move to and live. Many of the long-time residents who remember what the community was like less than a decade ago want to be part of the community revival and renewal but do not have the means or the money. Rebuilding Together can help.
Rebuilding Together and Rebuilding Together Nashville and our friends and partners have a unique opportunity to join a community during their revitalization. We have an opportunity to restore dignity to the homes and lives of those low-income, long-time residents. These are the people who, more than anyone, want and deserve to stay in their homes.
Learn more about last year’s Building a Healthy Neighborhood in Columbus, OH!
Victoria O’Banion: VObanion@rebuildingtogether.org
Amy Seusing: ASeusing@rebuildingtogether.org
Rebuilding Together Nashville
Becky Carter: BCarter@rebuildingtogethernashville.org