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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rebuilding Together: South Sound





Seattle radio stations were broadcasting announcements through the end of February for "Rampathon 2008" (not to be confused with Ramtha channeler J.Z. Knight) but "Rampathon" is a program in King and Snohomish Counties to build wheelchair ramps for low income disabled people.

I contacted the Master Builders Association to find out if a similar program is operational in Tacoma and Pierce County. After a few e-mail exchanges I was delighted to learn that the answer to my primary question is a resounding "Yes!"

Indeed, Tacoma and Pierce County do have a similar program for low income seniors and disabled homeowners, not just to build wheelchair ramps, but to perform various types of home maintenance repairs both indoors and outdoors. It is called "Rebuilding Together: South Sound" and the application forms for assistance are available right on the Web site itself.
http://RebuldingTogetherSS.org

Rebuilding Together South Sound has two programs. One program is a year-round home modification program and includes such things are building or repairing railings, wheelchair ramps, and so on.

The other program is Rebuilding Day, which takes place during the last weekend in April. (The deadline for applying for Rebuilding Day 2008 has already passed for this year.)

Home Modification

Home modification is adaptation to the living environment intended to increase ease of use, safety, security and independence. The Home Modification program accepts applications and makes repairs throughout the year. Some examples are wheelchair ramps and widened doorways to give added mobility in the home and access to the community. These construction projects may require many steps and my not be accomplished in a day. To qualify for the Home Modification program you must own your home, be low-income, reside in our service area (Pierce County, Federal Way, Auburn) and be elderly or disabled.

Rebuilding Day (Be thinking about applying next year for Rebuilding Day!)

All year volunteers prepare to address the repair needs of applicants. Staff members go out into the community to visit qualified homes and start planning for the work day in April when all the repairs including plumbing repairs, bathroom repairs and other work is done. House Captains work with builders to plan the work that will be done, what materials are required, and who will work on the team. To qualify for Rebuilding Day a person must own his or her own home, be low-income, reside in Tacoma/Pierce County, Federal Way, or Auburn, and be elderly, disabled or a family with children.

On Rebuilding Day everyone joins together. The homeowner and the crew roll up their sleeves and get to work! A large crew and a full day can transform a home. See the full picture gallery on their Web site to see how the changes come to fruition as volunteers joyfully give of themselves, their time, and their talents.

When you visit the main page for Rebuilding Together: South Sound, on the right side of the page there is a place you can click to complete an application to become a volunteer and put your talents to work for the disabled and disadvantaged in our community.

4 comments:

Stephanie Frieze said...

Wonderful post and exactly what the Neighborhood is all about! Actually, it is just what being a humanbeing and citizen is all about. ~Stephanie

Lorraine Hart said...

Don't forget Sallie Shawl (at Associated Ministries) has the "Paint Tacoma Beautiful" yearly campaign. Go Sallie!

Kim Thompson said...

Excellent post. How does an individual or family apply to be considered for a assistance from this fine group?

EmeraldPrincessOnline said...

Stephanie, I like what you wrote about being a "humanbeing"...and I have been on a quest to become more of a "human being" than a "human doing." Too often we gauge our own progress and value in life by what we do, how we earn a living, and so on. It can be a challenge when meeting a new person to try to have a conversation that doesn't begin with, "What do you do?" Better that we should all simply be humans being rather than humans doing.

Kim, when you visit the main page for Rebuilding Together: South Sound you'll see the links to click on for the PDFs of the various applications including forms for those wishing to apply for assistance and forms to complete, if you your heart leads you to step up and volunteer your time and talents. Lots of great corporate sponsors are already on board providing materials; volunteers provide the muscle.

Lorraine, yes, good point about "Paint Tacoma Beautiful"...my mother-in-law's home was painted by that group. Refreshing and revitalizing! Associated Ministries is a great interdenominational/nondenominational organization.

Thinking of Associated Ministries, I also think of Rodney King's plaintive cry, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out."

And the lyrics drift through my mind as background music by the group War, "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?

I seen you 'round for a long long time
I really 'membered you when you drink my wine

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?

I seen you walkin' down in Chinatown
I called you but you could not look around

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?

I bring my money to the welfare line
I see you standing in it every time

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?

The color of your skin don't matter to me
As long as we can live in harmony

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?

I'd kinda like to be the President
so I can show you how your money's spent

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?

Sometimes I don't speak too bright
but yet I know what I'm talking about

Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?
Why can't we be friends?