The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges for Rebuilding Together-Lincoln County (RT-LC) that the organization addressed by creatively retooling their operations. As a result, the local non-profit was able to successfully complete home repair and handicapped ramp installation services for over two dozen families in 2020.
Pre-pandemic, RT-LC took applications all year long from neighbors in need of vital home repairs then held an annual Rebuilding Together Day using large groups of volunteers from the community to undertake these projects. Fearing this way of operating could cause community spread during the pandemic, RT-LC cancelled their 2020 Rebuilding Day and instead began tackling jobs as applications were received throughout the year. A group of about 40 skilled volunteers, called the Gold Team, was assembled to handle projects and worked in “pods” of three or four while wearing masks and social distancing as much as possible.
Gold Teams expedited a variety of jobs, usually on their own but also in tandem with other local not-for-profits. Among the most notable was replacement of a trailer home for a family on Southport in which RT-LC worked with several charities and individuals. Gold Team members also assisted with final punch out on a Habitat for Humanity home in Boothbay Harbor. Major repair of a washed out subdivision road in Boothbay was also completed, as was a major window replacement project in Boothbay Harbor. In addition to completing several other home repair projects, RT-LC kicked its Ramps-for-All program into high gear installing seven ramps for neighbors with mobility issues.
“We couldn’t just shut down and wait the pandemic out,” said RT-LC President Vic Taylor. “The need for our services in the community is too great for that. But by adapting and actively retooling the way we do things, we were able to take care of all of our 2020 applications while also keeping our clients, volunteers and vendors safe.”
Many of the retooled protocols worked so well for the organization that they’ll remain in place for now. For example, RT-LC will continue initiating projects as applications come in throughout the year and will rely almost entirely on Gold Teams to expedite the work.
“With a little luck, the pandemic will be under control by late summer,” said Taylor, “and we can re-start Rebuilding Together Day as planned on Sept. 18.”
Dedicated to helping neighbors live in warm, day and safe homes, RT-LC is an all-volunteer, donations-funded, non-profit organization that provides no cost home repairs for Lincoln County homeowners who, due to financial or health hardship, are unable to afford and undertake necessary repairs themselves.
If you or someone you know needs home repair help, visit RebuildingTogether-LC.org and click on the “Need Help?” link or call 207-380-5719. If you or someone you know requires use of a handicap ramp, you can find out more about RT-LC’s Ramps-for-All program on our website as well.
If you’re interested in making a tax-deductible donation to Rebuilding Together-Lincoln County, click on the “Donate” link at RebuildingTogether-LC.org.