Since 2001, Rebuilding Together Greater Newport has made a positive impact on five group homes owned and managed by Child & Family. Their dedicated members have organized sponsorships, contractors, volunteers, donations of products and services to upgrade and repair the homes of children in residential care. Local organizations that have worked through Rebuilding Together include the Newport County Board of Realtors, Salve Regina University, Newport Hospital, Rhode Island Occupational Therapy Association, A-1 Roofing, Island Carpet, Beach Paint, Riverhead, Moore Blooms, the Rotary Clubs of Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth along with many others.
Local realtor Susan McCoy, president of Rebuilding Together, says “the programs and services provided by Child & Family are essential to our community.” While her organization provides assistance to individual homeowners, she is quick to point out that group homes have greater needs because more people are living under one roof adding increased wear to everything from plumbing to appliances. Child & Family, Martin Luther King Center and Lucy’s Hearth have all been assisted by Rebuilding Together to provide better living conditions in their group homes. Projects have included painting, replacing loose deck boards and railings, a new kitchen floor in one home, basement cleanouts, trimming back overgrown yards and even new knobs for a bit of sprucing up. Each group home was also treated to a raised garden bed for the children who lived there to plant and care for vegetables after the completion of the renovations.
Through the dedicated efforts and long-term commitment of Rebuilding Together, the housing conditions for the children in residential care have much improved. Many volunteers like McCoy have been afforded the chance through this program to improve the communities which they serve. “If you do choose an organization to support, make it a commitment instead of a one-time thing,” she advises. “There are people that depend on your service and time commitment and there are great needs in our community which you can improve.”