Spotlight: Rebuild Upstate

Organization: Rebuild Upstate
Location: Greenville, SC
Contact: Melanie Campbell, Community Engagement Director; melanie@rebuildupstate.org

Rebuild Upstate is a local nonprofit organization based in Greenville, South Carolina, that exclusively repairs and improves existing homes. We serve children, families, and seniors in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, and Pickens counties of upstate South Carolina. Our Home Repair Program targets the disrepair in housing that can have a poor impact on the health for residents. This highlighted Home Repair Program in Mrs. S’s home provided direct service repairs of mold removal, roof demolition, and roof repair.

Mrs. S’s roof started leaking to the point where she needed a bucket in the bathroom to collect water seeping through. This moisture in the home caused mold growth and worsened Mrs. S’s Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) symptoms – even to the point that she could barely walk to her front door. After speaking with Rebuild Upstate volunteers, she decided to submit an application for home repair and once approved, community volunteers teamed up to perform the mold removal, roof demo, and roof repair within three weeks. The largest obstacle to completing this home repair was the wait time. Mrs. S waited almost two years for her repairs. With over 1,000 homeowners on our waiting list, many will have to wait for years.

Due to the critical repairs from Rebuild Upstate’s Home Repair Program and Mrs. S’s decision to quit smoking seven years ago, she hasn’t been to the emergency room in four years. Instead of making her sick because of mold exposure, her home now compliments her health choices, has kept the family within the home, and has reduced energy and healthcare bills. Using volunteers in these home repairs provides a human element to direct service and is an inspiration for homeowners. As Mrs. S noted, “Thank you, Rebuild Upstate. I am forever grateful. Your volunteers define what real heroes are by giving so much of their time to a complete stranger.” This home repair project on Mrs. S’s home completed our organization’s goal to make the home safer and healthier, and represents one of the over 900 homes served in Rebuild Upstate’s history.