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Volunteers help repair nine homes in Indy's Near Northwest neighborhood for Spring Rebuild Day

rebuilding together Indianapolis
Posted at 8:03 PM, Apr 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-29 23:33:12-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Eric Slaughter has lived in his Near Northwest home for the past 25 years.

“I’m here. For the long haul. I ain’t going no where," the 60-year-old said.

In that time, he’s racked up a laundry list of repairs.

“It’s piled up because a lot of it I couldn’t do. I didn’t have the money. Fixed income — I didn’t have the money to do it," Slaughter said.

That’s where Rebuilding Together Indianapolis is stepping in.

“We’re trying to help Eric pick up in some areas he’s not able to," House Captain Andre Grocox said.

His team of volunteers mainly focuses on quality of life improvements.

“We fixed some lighting throughout the basement and the stairs. We installed new carbon monoxide protectors. We also painted a few rooms. We did some exterior landscaping and we also installed a vent for his drier," Grocox said.

Slaughter’s home is one of nine getting a facelift Saturday, as a part of RTI’s Spring Rebuild Day.

“A lot of the homeowners we work with are elderly. They’re folks that are on fixed income, social security, those types of things. So, when it comes to making critical repairs around their homes, they have to focus on paying the bills or buying food and those things," Executive Director Kyle Hickman said.

The nonprofit brings in money from grants and sponsors to fund these repairs.

Hickman estimates they spend between $2,500 to $5,000 per home, depending on the scope of the work that needs to be done.

“Most of these homes are pretty old. Some are over 100-years-old. A lot of them have a lot of work to be done. Our job is to get the dollars, the people and the sponsors in place to allow them to make some of those repairs they’ve probably been sitting on for years," Hickman said.

That’s definitely the case for Slaughter, who says he’s grateful for all their generosity.

“I’d like to thank everybody, everybody that has something to do with it.”

In order to qualify for these services, homeowners need to be low-income, elderly or disabled and unable to make the needed repairs themselves.

The selection process takes place locally.

Referrals come from a variety of sources including non-profit agencies, police departments, social service organizations, churches, and synagogues.

The Rebuilding Together Indianapolis program invites over 20 neighborhood organizations to apply for the program.

Once the neighborhood is selected, individual homeowners were asked to apply.