Most with the Least: Rebuilding Together

Tapping the power of community volunteers to rehab homes around the city for those in need

By Rachel Sandstrom October 20, 2015 Published in the November 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

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From a 10-by-15-foot office donated by the University of Portland, Rebuilding Together Portland works to rebuild the city, one free electrical repair, mold removal, or plumbing job at a time. The tiny local chapter of this national organization has just two paid staff, but its truly eye-grabbing stats are exponentially bigger: since 1990, RBT has orchestrated nearly 2,000 volunteers to rehab 1,190 homes and 110 nonprofit facilities. The only all-volunteer outfit of its kind in Portland, Rebuilding Together works primarily for homeowners who can’t afford or perform repairs themselves—many of them low-income, elderly, or disabled—and rounds up help from skilled laborers. The first priority: making sure every home is healthy and safe, with working plumbing and electricity and updated kitchen appliances.

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