West Philadelphia block gets critical home repairs

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Eight homes on one block in West Philadelphia are getting critical renovations and repairs thanks to volunteers from a group called "Rebuilding Together Philadelphia."

They kicked off the work Friday on Callowhill Street, helping some of the most vulnerable homes meet health and safety standards.

"There are folks today ripping out dirty old carpet, laying down solid vinyl floor," said Stefanie Seldin, the CEO of Rebuilding Together Philadelphia. "We have folks adding grab bars and handrails for seniors. There are exterior solar lights going up. It's a wide gamut."

Roughly 75 volunteers are working on fire safety installations, roofing, plumbing, electrical, and structural improvements.

These repairs are a game-changer for the residents who are so grateful for the help.

"It is like a new home," said Carletta Fooks, whose house is being worked on. "I can invite guests over and spend more time with my family and have barbecues in the backyard. This is saving me thousands of dollars in repairs. It helps me to stay in my home and not have to move or be displaced."

By the end of the month, "Rebuilding Together Philadelphia" will have repaired 90 houses in this neighborhood.

They also work with ACHIEVEability on financial training for the homeowners, with the motto that housing is wealth and health.

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