Susan Gebhart • Rebuilding Together Greater Harrisburg

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month, the eNews feature article highlights the mission focus for the month. In April we’re lifting up community involvement, and Derry’s partnership with Rebuilding Together Greater Harrisburg. Join Derry members to repair a home in Harrisburg on Saturday, April 27: contact Pete Feil or Charlie Koch for more information.

At Rebuilding Together, we make essential repairs to help our neighbors stay in their homes.

Who We Are

RTGH is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization with a local volunteer Board of Directors who selects the homes to be worked on, raises the funds and recruits the volunteers to do the work. RTGH employs one part-time executive director who works from home. Overhead is kept to a minimum and funds are utilized where it is most needed: repairing and modifying homes at no cost to the homeowner.

Volunteers are the cornerstone of RTGH’s work, and their investment of time and resources makes a significant difference in our program.  

Repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives. Rebuilding Together’s program reaches out to the most vulnerable individuals within our community—the low-income elderly, the disabled, families with children and veterans of war. They live on a fixed income, so they lack the resources to make the necessary home repairs because they must choose between food, medications and utilities. When a homeowner lacks the financial resources to maintain their home, unhealthy and dangerous situations increase. No one should have to call an unsafe place home.  

Through grants and donations from various sources, volunteers and contractors are able to reach out to these homeowners and make the necessary repairs and modifications to ensure these homeowners live in a safe, warm and dry environment and remain independent—“age in place.” Rebuilding Together Greater Harrisburg is one of the few agencies in the area that provides home repairs and modifications at no cost to the homeowner on a year-round basis. 

Rebuilding Together’s volunteer home inspectors evaluate each home. Assessing the repair needs ensures that the homeowner and family members are living in a safe, warm and dry environment. Elizabethtown College and Messiah University occupational/physical therapy graduate students conduct safety assessments for our homeowners to ensure they are living in a safe and accessible environment. The students generate a report for each homeowner in which the volunteers utilize to help modify the home.  It is a very rewarding experience for the students because it helps them develop their communication skills along with understanding the need within our low-income homeowners.