Rebuilding Together El Paso’s First She Builds Project
In March of 2020, 30 women from El Paso’s Junior League were the first [Re]Builders to kick off the She Builds program in El Paso. Women-led and women-focused, She Builds provides critical repairs for women-headed households and women-focused community spaces to empower women to maintain safe and healthy homes, make a difference in their communities and build a supportive community network.
The women from El Paso’s Junior League worked on a painting and landscaping project for an older lady in our community. During this project, Rebuilding Together El Paso had the opportunity to explain this new program on television when press came. The City Council representative of the district where the project occurred even joined us and showed her interest in the program. She is now Rebuilding Together El Paso’s ambassador on the council. This publicity, however, was not enough to get the broader interest of the community. In order to promote the program, we organized showcase projects done by skilled women to illustrate female capabilities in a traditionally male sector.
The first project chosen was in the heart of the community, at the Transitional Living Center of the YWCA that houses women and children fleeing domestic violence. This project’s budget of $20,000 was used on new HVAC equipment, lighting, flooring and furniture. More than 60 female volunteers were trained in handling power tools for cutting, grinding, sanding, drilling and sawing. The tile floor was installed by the women of Floor & Décor, who were specially trained for this activity. Several women brought already well-developed construction skills to the project.
In addition to the She Builds projects, Rebuilding Together El Paso has partnered with Workforce Solutions and other training institutions in our area for almost six months. We have conducted construction and building training classes for independent women in the El Paso area.
The She Builds program will enable Rebuilding Together El Paso to become a highly visible community leader. We are excited to be working with organizations like the YWCA, Workforce Solutions and the City of El Paso to help women out of poverty.
Our next She Builds project is in the works and our goal is to show the community that She Builds offers the opportunity for independent women to master skills in a traditionally male sector.