Since 2021, ONIT Home has been supporting Rebuilding Together North Texas (RTNT) through an annual donation campaign. RTNT is a non-profit organization and a local affiliate of Rebuilding Together, a nationwide non-profit started in 1988. The organization actively supports the community by completing essential home repairs for individuals and families in need. These home improvements provide families with a safe and secure home environment. We’re giving you an inside look at a home remodel before and after featuring U.S. Army veteran Mr. Medlock.
We’ll show you what it takes to complete a home improvement project of this scale, the impact these critical home repairs have on a homeowner, and what’s next for the organization.
How Home Improvement Projects Work at RTNT
Before we share Mr. Medlock’s story, let’s talk about how home improvement projects and repairs work at Rebuilding Together North Texas. This includes a 5-step process.
Step 1: Submit Application
Applicants can submit the online form themselves, or friends and family can complete the application on their behalf.
Step 2: Complete Documentation
Next, RTNT will reach out to applicants to ensure they complete and submit all required documents. After receiving the documentation, RTNT reviews the files to evaluate whether the household is eligible for services.
What Requirements Are Needed To Be Eligible for Services
- Households must be considered low-income based on the current HUD income limit guidelines
- Applicant must own the home
- Home must have absence of liens
- Households must be current on property taxes or have a payment plan set up with the county
- No sex offenders registered at or living in the home
- There should be either a veteran, surviving spouse of a veteran, individual with a disability, senior (person over 60), or child under 18 living in the home
Step 3: Complete Home Assessment
After RTNT reviews, vets, and qualifies an applicant, the organization will schedule a home assessment to determine the needs of a home.
The organization utilizes a 25-point checklist to grade the home on its overall safety. The checklist covers a range of categories, from the home’s structure to plumbing and fire safety. They note immediate safety improvements the property may need, such as accessibility modifications for safely showering or locking an exterior door.
Step 4: Establish a Project
Finally, RTNT will work to establish a project for completion. The homes RTNT can repair depend on the available funding and how they must allocate that money. For example, money might be for a specific area, like repairing a roof.
Step 5: Complete Project
Completing a project largely relies on volunteers and donations. Single home projects usually call for around 30 people. Larger facilities, such as a school, can require 100 volunteers.
According to Tia LaFavor, Director of Operations at RTNT, volunteers and financial donations play a critical role in completing a project.
“We could not do a project without financial donations and volunteers,” LaFavor said. “We couldn’t even exist as an organization without them.”
The timeline for completing each project varies. Some home repairs can take anywhere from one day to a couple of years to complete. Other projects require multiple funding sources at different times throughout a few years before reaching completion. As an example, LaFavor says they might be able to replace a roof in the spring and flooring in the fall, then finish an ADA bathroom the following year.
About the Client: Mr. Medlock
For this case study, we’re learning more about one of their past clients, Mr. Medlock. Upon a recommendation from someone, Medlock called RTNT about the state of his home and looked for help.
“The portion that I really wanted to get done was the seal around the windows. The window seals were rotted out,” Medlock said.
With the project completed, Medlock feels nothing but appreciation towards RTNT.
“They are the most wonderful group that I have come in contact with. They are reliable.” Medlock said. “I just go with the flow, whatever they’re able to do I appreciate…whether it’s little, small or whatever size. Everything they’ve done so far has been appreciated and it was in dire need.”
The Impact of Mr. Medlock’s Home Remodel Before and After
To better understand the scale of this home remodel before and after, we’ve gathered key numbers and a list of home repairs at Mr. Medlock’s property.
- ~ 40 volunteers at work site
- 6 months to remodel home
- ~ $25,000 of monetary and in-kind donations
List of Home Repairs
- Siding on the house
- Roof and soffit
- Exterior doors
- Storm doors
- ADA compliant bathroom
Looking Forward and How You Can Support RTNT
Having community support is what keeps RTNT alive. One element of support came from Wells Fargo donating nearly $300,000 to RTNT and four other housing organizations across DFW.
“Wells Fargo has been an amazing partner over the years…The funding we received allowed us to complete multiple, large critical home repairs for clients who were living in unsafe conditions,” LaFavor said. “This funding allows us to preserve affordable housing for those who need it most and allow seniors to continue to age in place safely.”
The best way to support RTNT is to show up: whether it’s to volunteer opportunities or making financial contributions. With the pandemic affecting things like inflation, shortages, and busy contractors, it also affected the volunteers.
“We utilize volunteers extensively and we had to shut down volunteers for several months at the beginning of the pandemic,” LaFavor explained. “When we opened back up to volunteers, we deployed safety protocols to ensure volunteer, client, partner, and staff safety.”
Looking forward to 2022, RTNT is excited to get volunteers back and in projects with them. Typically, a project requires 12 to 25 people each day, the more volunteers they have, the lighter the workload.
How You Can Support RTNT
Looking to take part in helping this great organization? There’s always room for volunteers, according to LaFavor.
There are a few great ways you can support RTNT, including the following:
- Attend fundraising events
- Donate directly to them
- Volunteer with them
- Companies and businesses can visit their website for sponsorship opportunities
- Join them on April 30th, 2022 for National Rebuilding Day.
As always, the best way to stay up to date and connected with RTNT is to visit their website for more information.