Building a Healthy Neighborhood 2013: Columbus

Rebuilding Together recently celebrated our 3rd annual Building a Healthy Neighborhood. This year’s event took place in Columbus, Ohio. Hundreds of volunteers spent three days repairing 16 homes and revitalizing the Greater Hilltop community.

This work wouldn’t have been possible without our affiliate Rebuilding Together Central Ohio, our presenting sponsor, Lowe’s, and our other partners Crate and Barrel, Choice Hotels, Assurant, PNC Bank, HGTV, DIY Network, Carter’s Kids, and AmeriCorps.

Building a Healthy Neighborhood LogoHomeowners:

Vinell, born in 1959, has lived in her current home for almost her whole adult life. During her time on the Hilltop, Vinell enjoyed working as a nurse’s aide at the Columbus Developmental Center, but her career was cut short because of an injury, resulting in two knee and two hip replacements.

In recent years, Vinell’s disability has prevented her from setting the example she would like.Living on a fixed income prevents her from being able to afford maintenance on her house. The project includes: replacing basement windows with glass block, adding a handrail to the front stairs, installing a new handheld shower sprayer, and installing a transition strip between the kitchen and living room.

Aletha, born in Alabama in 1945, moved to Columbus  in 1963 in order to be closer to her relatives. During her adulthood, she married and 2 daughters and a son. She worked as a machine operator and her husband worked for Nationwide.

Aletha has lived in her current home for almost 40 years. Her children grew up in the home, and she remembers fondly how her children and their friends would play in the house. This outgoing and likeable woman has recently been spending much more time at home, having retired in January 2013. She tries to keep herself busy with sewing and cooking. She particularly likes baking things such as cakes and pies.

Now living on a fixed income, Aletha is having trouble with the maintenance of her home. Some of the repairs that would help her stay warm, safe and dry include: repairing the handrail to the back door, installing new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and miscellaneous electrical repairs.

Henry, born in Pennsylvania in 1962, has been in Columbus for 27 years. During his time in Columbus, Henry became a truck driver; a job he enjoyed very much. He proudly talks about having been to every state in the continental U.S.

Henry has been in his current home for only 12 years, and in that short amount of time he and his family have created many wonderful memories. His two daughters spent most of their childhood in this house. Henry is also enjoying creating new memories with three of his grandchildren every Sunday when they come to visit for dinner, as well as with a 22 month old child he and his wife are fostering.

Currently, Henry and his wife have been living on a fixed income. A few of the repairs include: replacing missing shingles on the roof, gutter clean out and repair and yard work.

William was born in Columbus. Upon entering adulthood, he joined the Army, in which he was a carpenter. He loved the trade so much that he still continues to find carpentry work where he can despite no longer being in the military.

Though he has only owned his house for two and a half years, he has known it for much longer. His parents bought the house in 1964 when he was only eight years old. He decided to buy the home when it looked like his family might lose it. Inside the house, you can see his passion for carpentry and interior design in ceiling textures and painted designs. He explains that he would like to turn this hobby into a way to help others by developing properties and working on shelters for the homeless. Not having a steady job has made it difficult for William to afford repairs for his home.


sandy assurant

sandy crate

sandy choice HGTV DIY
Fixing the Porch CartersKids-Web-150x150 RTCO2color_107SQUARE


Media Contacts:

For media information, please contact Janice Walker: