“You kept your word! And I sure am grateful!”
I couldn’t have said it better myself Ms. B. This past weekend RTSF launched its inaugural Fall Build Day with 35 volunteers spending their Saturday providing free home safety repair and weatherization services to 10 low income homeowners in the OMI neighborhood of San Francisco.
The work performed ran the gamut from installing smoke detectors to repairing a wheelchair ramp. In Ms. B’s case we built her a brand new fence so that she could once again enjoy her back yard without any fear of being terrorized by the dog next door. When we met Ms. B late last year her fence was in shambles. The posts had rotted out and dirt and garbage from the neighbor’s yard was spilling into hers. The lattice and framing that had been installed atop her fence for privacy were in tatters. In one section there was a large hole which the neighbor’s dog went back and forth through as though he owned the fertilizing rights to both plots.
We did everything we could to get Ms. B a new fence last April, but unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards. We did make some temporary repairs that removed the immediate safety threat, and we made a prophetic promise: we told Ms. B that we were starting a new program in October and that if she would just be patient with us till then she would get the new fence she so desperately needed. Ms. B kept the faith and RTSF delivered!
Of course we would have been hard pressed to do so without the efforts of half a dozen volunteers who labored tirelessly in the rare hot OMI sunshine tearing down her old fence, digging out the footings and rebuilding a new fence from scratch. The specifics of Ms. B’s case are unique, but every home owner we helped on Saturday had a compelling story and an amazing team of committed volunteers who helped RTSF keep them living safely and comfortably in their own homes.
Together we built handrails, installed grab bars, did battle with black mold, fixed leaks, cleaned out piles of junk, improved fire safety, and so much more; all while meeting new friends and having a boatload of fun! For those of you who missed out, have no fear. As soon as we can work out the logistics we’re planning to offer additional opportunities like this.
Until then, you can sign up to help us on our flagship project, National Rebuilding Day in April, or you can contact us about working as part of our year round home safety team. Ms. B and other low income seniors will continue to put their faith in RTSF and with your help we’ll continue to meet their needs like no one else can!