Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today that more than 100 volunteers, including Cook County employees, completed major repairs to the homes of two elderly residents in celebration of National Rebuilding Day.
The non-profit agency Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago partnered with the County to fix the two homes, located in south suburban Harvey. Improvements included new flooring, handrails, a front gate, furnace tune-ups, stabilization of a porch, and the replacement of spouts and gutters.
“This remarkable program will allow the owners to live safely and comfortably in their homes and remain a part of the community,” said President Preckwinke, who serves as honorary co-chair of the annual program with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Cook County has supported Rebuilding Together since its inception in 1991 and we continue our solid commitment to this program.”
The County contributed $105,000 this year to Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago through its Community Development Block Grant program. This year, the county is sponsoring two of 75 homes being repaired in one day by volunteers throughout Chicago.
President Preckwinkle thanked volunteers Saturday after they completed repairs on the Harvey residences.
“You have provided the skill and backbone to improve the cherished homes of two residents who are anchors of this community,” she told the volunteers. “The results I see today are immediate and profound. Cook County is proud to be a part of this impressive volunteer effort to help our citizens in need—and to keep our communities strong.”
One of the homeowners, Ms. Smith, 64, suffered a stroke 10 years ago and has paralysis on her right side. The longtime resident considered selling her home and moving to an apartment until she was chosen for the Rebuilding Together program. Now she’s able to stay in her home.
In addition to the home repair projects, volunteer crews from the Forest Preserve District cleaned up sections of nearby Kickapoo Woods and Harvey’s Veterans Park, including picking up litter and planting new flora.
Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago is an affiliate of Rebuilding Together and one of more than 200 chapters throughout the country. Since 1991, the Chicago affiliate has worked on more than 1,200 homes in the Chicagoland area.