Rebuilding Together and the Ghostbusters
By Jonathan Rossall
Home Safety Program Coordinator
I happened to catch a rerun of Ghostbusters II on Netflix a few weeks ago and I was surprised at how much it reminded me of the work we do here at RTSF. It wasn’t the obvious similarities that caught my attention, like the small eccentric staff working out of a creaky old building, or the fact that Bill Murray is exactly who I would cast to play myself in a movie. What got me is this: both RTSF and the Ghostbusters are resources for people with no where else to turn. If there’s a eight foot tall slimy ghost ransacking your apartment, who else can you really call on besides the Ghostbusters? If your an 85 year old widow living on social security with no relatives living in the area and your front steps are caving in, who can you really call besides Rebuilding Together?
We’ll touch the lives of hundreds of people this year through our various programs, but today I want to tell you about just one. Mrs. W called RTSF a few weeks ago because a pane of glass was missing from her front window. She was cold and afraid for her safety and so she picked up the phone and called a number she’d called several years before. I don’t know how long that pane was missing, and I don’t know how many people Mrs. W reached out to for help before she called RTSF, but I do know that her search for help ended when I answered her call. As Mrs. W filled me in on her situation I looked her up in our database and saw that we’d helped her out several years ago with some rebuilt stairs. I also saw that one of the volunteers on that project was someone who still actively participates in our year round work. After I got off the phone with Mrs. W I emailed the volunteer in question and to my surprise he emailed me back almost immediately to say that he remembered Mrs. W, that he happened to be just a few blocks away from her house and that he’d be happy to stop in and see what she needed (I guess there’s at least one good thing about having your email on your cell phone!).
A few days later Mrs. W was once again safe and warm in the place she’s called home for the last 40 years. A couple more years down the road Mrs. W may reach a point where she can no longer get herself on and off the toilet with out a struggle. A raised toilet seat and a grab bar on the wall could alleviate that problem, but how will she afford such costly custom modifications? Without a doubt, RTSF and our amazing volunteers will be here year after year doing exactly that, so that when Mrs. W, and anyone else in her predicament, calls we’ll be there to meet their needs. Just go ahead and ask her, “Who you gonna call?” RTSF!