Homeowner Stories

National Rebuilding Day 2015 Homeowner Spotlight: Patricia

On Saturday, April 25th, right here in Dutchess County, over 150 volunteers completed critical repairs on 8 homes in a single day, including Patricia’s home.

Patricia is a 74 year old resident of Pleasant Valley. The pride she takes in her home is apparent as soon as you enter; she has filled the entrance hallway with photos of her children, and proudly displays the American flag she received in honor of her deceased husband’s service in the US Marine Corps. Her limited income has prevented her from being able to afford critical upkeep of her home. As a result, the roof has begun to leak, causing the elderly homeowner to constantly worry. When she learned about RTDC, it was her last resort. “I heard about Rebuilding Together from the Office for the Aging. It was so hard to ask for help, but I was worried about losing my house,” Patricia told us. Through our Rebuilding Day Program, Patricia received a roof replacement, and volunteers also provided energy efficiency upgrades, repaired flooring that was a tripping hazard, and installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure her health and safety for many years to come.

While we are excited to help Patricia, there are 10 more homeowners on Rebuilding Together Dutchess County’s waiting list who still need our help.  Please consider making a gift of $25 today – the cost of purchasing one grab bar – to help homeowners like Patricia remain in homes that are safe and healthy. Thank you for helping us to serve more of our neighbors in need. Together we can reach our goal of a safe and healthy home for every person!

2013 Homeowners Helped

Fall Rebuilding Day 2013

bell faceAn 82 year old widow of a WWII and Korean War veteran has lived in her home for 52 years and recently had to replace her furnace which she is still paying off. Because of this, her 20 year old roof needed to be replaced but she simply could not afford it. Prior to Fall Rebuilding Day, a team replaced her leaky roof. On Fall Rebuilding Day, a team repaired the tripping hazard in her walkway, weatherstripped her doors and windows to cut down on her energy bills, converted the knobs on her doors to levers for easier access, and replaced and painted the fascia. Another team will also be donating and installing new gutters to prevent further leaks and water issues.

Lisella motherA family of 5, with a disabled mother and a recently unemployed father needed help with the upkeep of their home. Their basement was inaccessible, so an RTDC team on Fall Rebuilding Day built stairs and handrails to increase access.  Additionally they repaired the sagging front porch, replaced a sliding glass door and painted trim. They also resolved the drainage/moisutre issues at the chimney and downspouts and repaired interior water damage.

National Rebuilding Day 2013

This disabBaxterled Marine Corps veteran who served our country during the Vietnam War is so active in his local American Legion, helping other veterans in the community, he never looked for assistance for himself. Luckily, RTDC was able to help serve someone who has kept our country safe. RTDC replaced windows in his home to make it less drafty and more energy efficient. New flooring was installed to reduce tripping hazards and make the home safer.

 FetzerA disabled single father of a teenage daughter could not physically perform the repairs necessary to keep his home safe for his family. Drafty and damp, the home needed new windows and many other repairs. Volunteers during National Rebuilding Day replaced all of his windows to make them energy efficient, replaced his front and storm doors, repaired unsafe handrails, replaced faulty light fixtures, and repointed the chimney among other repairs. "It's unbelievable! I'm just blown away looking at my new windows! It's like a dream come true, I can't stop looking at them."

 CohnA single mother with two disabled adult children, this Poughkeepsie homeowner could not afford to make her home safer and more independent for her children to live in. "If I didn't have this help, I wouldn't be able to do this on my own. It looks like a brand new house!" she said about the repairs completed on National Rebuilding Day. Volunteers replaced windows, painted the exterior of the home, and made the bathroom more accessible for her children. These repairs will create a significantly more independent and safe home for the entire family for years to come.

JobsThis Wappingers Falls homeowner certainly did not have the ability or money to repair his home as necessary. Luckily, volunteers were able to perform major plumbing repairs, repair a leaky roof, install safer handrails, and drastically improve the lighting in the home so that he could be much safer. Without these repairs, this homeowner was not living in a safe and independent environment, and with the help of the volunteers on National Rebuilding Day he can now live safely for years to come. "I don't know what I would have done if I didn't get this help. All these people are like angels from heaven."

 MikulaAn elderly Navy veteran and his disabled wife simply could not stay in their home any longer without long overdue repairs. Much of the home was rotten or falling apart and was a very unsafe living environment. During National Rebuilding Day, volunteers were able to tear off and replace the roof, replace much of the rotten lumber and framing, replace broken light fixtures, repair broken windows, fix a sagging bathroom ceiling, and add grab bars and hand rails (to just name a few of the repairs they completed). The home is once more warm, safe, and dry for the elderly homeowners. "It is an amazing project and we are very grateful to be chosen and to have these top notch people helping out," said the homeowner.

RoseThis Hyde Park widow of a veteran was concerned about the state of her home at her advanced age.  A leaky roof, rotten fascia, broken gutters, and faulty electrical issues were some of the concerns facing her on a daily basis. With the help of her volunteer team over National Rebuilding Day she was able to receive a brand new roof, new gutters, new electric work, new fascia boards, a replaced window pane, and all new interior painting. "I still can't believe that this is happening. I still can't believe it's real!"

An elderly Hopewell Junction homeowner tried to keep up with the repairs on her home, but some were just out of her reach. Accessibility and independence were kept in mind when performing the repairs at her home. A walkway was reset to avoid a tripping hazard, energy efficient windows were installed, the bathroom was repaired to create a safer environment, among other repairs. These modifications will significantly increase the safety and independence of the homeowner for many years. "Thank you, many times thank you. I appreciate that so many people are willing to help."

A Wingdale homeowner could certainly not do the repairs to her home that were necessary. Luckily, a team from Rebuilding Together came and replaced her decking and handrails, repaired a cracked concrete step, repaired some roofing on her home, and painted her front porch. Especially for elderly homeowners, accessibility repairs such as handrails and replacing uneven decking can make a huge difference in a homeowner's independence.

Homeowner Story: Mr. Cullen

Homeowners_Mr._and_Mrs._cullen-W800Mr. Cullen served for 7 years in the armed forces including three and a half years in Vietnam.  During his years of wartime service Mr. Cullen was wounded several times causing some permanent disabilities. These disabilities are what caused him to turn to Rebuilding Together Dutchess County (RTDC) for help.  The Cullen family has lived in their home for over 15 years and they love the area, the weather, and their neighbors. However, due to several limitations the Cullen family didn’t have the ability to repair and/or maintain their home as they would have liked to.  While at a Veteran’s outreach event, Mr. Cullen received an application for RTDC’s National Rebuilding Day home repair program. Upon completing the application he didn’t want to ask for too much assistance as he assumed others would need more help or be in a more dire situation than he.  However, when RTDC inspected his house they found some serious health and safety issues including an unsafe porch, no heat in the bedrooms, several  cracks in the foundation and electrical work that needed to be rewired. Our repairs not only helped him with his existing needs, but made it easier for him to continue maintaining his home assuring that he and his family could stay in a safe and healthy home for years to come. 

Homeowner Story: Mr. Annis


Robert Annis, an elderly homeowner in Amenia, after having several heart attacks and a stroke he realized he needed help with his home repairs. "It was pretty bad," said Mr. Annis about the state of his house. "The porch roof was literally leaking and this over the kitchen was pretty close... I don't think anybody realized how bad it was on the roof out there." Luckily he heard of Rebuilding Together Dutchess County from the Amenia Town Board and applied for National Rebuilding Day. Qualified and accepted, volunteers from Poughquag United Methodist Church and the community set out to repair Mr. Annis' home.

The repairs done totally changed the appearance and safety of thehome. RTDC worked with an Occupational Therapist who identified mobility issues and made recommended modifications in addition to other repairs related to the RTDC mission of warm, safe, and dry. Replacing faulty water fixtures, replacing and repairing the ceilings and walls, fixing trip hazards including interior flooring and the exterior walkway, drastically repairing the roof, as well as installing many safety features such as grab bars and handrails for Mr. Annis were just a few of the repairs performed by the RTDC team. "I was amazed at the whole process. Everybody was going all day!" said Mr. Annis. "It was a good many man-hours that went in here."

group-W800Because of the repairs and modifications performed by the RTDC team, Mr. Annis now feels safe in his home. He was not only worried about the general disrepair, but after his numerous health issues it was hard for him to navigate and use his home to the best of his ability. With grab bars and other safety features he can now live in his home independently and safely. "They've done a wonderful job really" he said, proudly wearing his Rebuilding Together Dutchess County t-shirt. "It was really something!"

Thank You Letters

"There are no words to adequately express our heartfelt appreciation for Rebuilding Together. To everyone involved, we send our most sincere gratitude." - 2015 Homeowner

"Having all the improvements that are needed and all the modifications truly makes it possible to live safely and more comfortably." - 2015 Homeowner

"You not only helped me with the work, you also gave me back something I had lost - my self esteem" - 2014 Homeowner