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Rebuilding Together Dayton And Volunteers To Rehab Homes In Westwood

Rebuilding Together Dayton

78 year old Harold Jones has lived in Dayton’s Westwood neighborhood for close to fifty years.

“The house that I live in, it began to corrode and at the time, I didn’t have finances to fix it,” he says.

Then Jones met representatives from Rebuilding Together Dayton (RTD). For 21 years, the non-profit has been providing housing rehabilitation and home repairs to low-income residents at no cost. RTD gave Jones an application in 2014 to take part in National Rebuilding Day.

Jones says, “I filled it out, [but] I had so much stuff on there I just knew they wasn’t coming back.”

Yet, RTD  did come back, to insulate his home, fix broken windows, replace a falling kitchen ceiling, light fixtures. They even donated a washer and dryer so Jones wouldn’t have to wash his clothes by hand.

The median income in Westwood, according to city-data.org, is just over 21,000 dollars. The crime rate there is estimated at more than twice the national average and, like many communities, time and other factors have taken a toll on the homes there – many of them were built in the 1950’s, so the need for housing rehabilitation is substantial, says Amy Radachi, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together Dayton.

“We’re working with home owners who are making the decision between paying for food or medicine or paying for needed home repairs, so this really is crucial, sometimes life saving efforts on our part, for them,” she says.

Radachi also believes National Rebuilding Day brings neighborhoods together.

“Sometimes I think that the rehab work is secondary to the idea that somebody actually cares about them, and it’s really heartwarming to see volunteers who might not have any exposure to this part of town come out and show someone that they care.” 

Credit Rebuilding Together Dayton

In this interview, Westwood homeowner Harold Jones tells the story of his home and the work Rebuilding Together Dayton has done.

This Saturday, April 30th, a team of 700 to 800 volunteers will be back in Westwood to help more residents.

To date Rebuilding Together Dayton has helped more than 1500 homes in Montgomery County through National Rebuild Day and other revitalization programs.

The national Rebuilding Together network uses close to 100,000 volunteers to complete around 10,000 rebuild projects a year.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.