Rebuilding Together Montgomery County

Impact Area

Help Neighbors in Need

Volunteer Group Name & URL

Rebuilding Together of Montgomery County

Organization Served & URL

Rebuilding Together of Montgomery County

Project Goal/Description

Rebuilding Together repairs houses of low-income homeowners. We make repairs, from the very simple to the very complex. It depends upon what the homeowner’s needs are- to help them be safe, warm and dry. In the house that the Olney and Sandy Spring Lions Clubs worked on, the Clubs offered manpower and technical expertise. For example, they replaced a lot of tile in the kitchen and windows in the bathroom, as well as drywall in the basement that had become moldy. The county supports our efforts in April by sending out trash trucks to our projects. The workers put items the homeowner wanted to get rid of curbside for pickup. They also doubled the size of a front deck, fixed a rain gutter and replaced a sliding glass door near the back porch.

Timeline for Planning

Planning time for the project varies. If we, Rebuilding Together, are providing the project management and if the sponsor has many volunteers, the planning can take a few months or more.  We have to match the needs of the homeowner to the skills and size of the group volunteering. 

If the team is providing the project management, they need to allow three months for training, setup, work, and cleanup.  This time is for a couple of project leaders. The volunteer hours needed for the project will again depend on the needs of the homeowner and the size of the group. The Lions Clubs’ leaders started the planning process in February, at Rebuilding Together's training session for House Captains. The project took place the last two weekends in April. They visited the project house twice and conducted some other advance planning.

How Many Volunteers

Anywhere from a few to many volunteers are needed. The needs of the homeowner dictates the size of the group. The Lions Clubs had about 30 people. The time commitment is anywhere from a few hours to four or five days. The Lions Clubs' project involved about 120 man hours or more of work. About 4 hours per person.

How Was This Publicized to Recruit Volunteers?

The group will need to draw their team together so it will mostly be internal advertising on the group’s part. It is important to do it far enough in advance so that the skill level of the group is known to make the best match with a homeowner.

Required Facilities, Materials & Expenses

Project supplies: Rebuilding Together has sponsorship fees for groups wanting a corporate give-back day.

 

 

 

Challenges

Time and scope creep. Rebuilding Together volunteers are typically very excited and enthusiastic, which can lead to over committing. The organization tries to work with groups to prevent that. “The Lions Clubs have been doing this project for over 10 years, so they have a realistic understanding of what they can accomplish” says Ed Loane, committee chairperson for the Sandy Spring Lions Club’s Rebuilding Together effort.

Group Type

Nonprofit

Strategic Priority Addressed

Safe Streets & Secure Neighborhoods

Result

We take care of the needs of the home – so yard work may take place, gutters cleaned, trash removed, painting, plumbing repairs, electrical, roof. Again, it depends on the sponsoring group’s commitment. The Lions Club enlarged a deck, replaced sliding glass doors, and replaced tile in the kitchen.

Special Points of Interest

“Take our advice seriously.  We  have done over 1,500 home repair projects.  We know the pitfalls and planning necessary for a really great project,” says Susan Hawfield of Rebuilding Together.

The Lions Club’s Ed Loane says:

-Be sensitive to and respectful of the homeowners.

 

 

-Sometimes you may not finish on time, so plan to finish what you promise to set out to do when you inspect the home and make your plan.