There is something quite powerful that occurs when women support other women and when neighbors and partners join and become devoted to revitalizing their communities. Rebuilding Together Northeast Ohio (RTNEO), a local nonprofit focused on safe and healthy housing, is launching a She Builds event series with programming beginning on May 7th.
Rebuilding Together’s She Builds program is a nationwide initiative to empower women to repair and maintain safe and healthy homes, make a difference in their communities, and build a supportive community network. She Builds provides critical home repairs to women in need and revitalizes community centers providing services to women and their families.
Have you ever dreaded calling a plumber for a lousy leak or ever blown a fuse and had no idea how to maneuver an electrical panel? Do you ever feel intimidated at the thought of calling a contractor or repair person? According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, out of all household types, female-headed households with children have a far higher prevalence of repair needs and cost. At RTNEO, women and older adult homeowners make up the core foundation of individuals who receive home repair services. 82 percent of individuals who received services from RTNEO in 2019 were women and 93 percent were older adults.
Starting May 7, She Builders will have access to online classes teaching the confidence and skills to maintain safe and healthy homes. There are also topics such as leadership and mentoring to encourage community participation and empowerment. Participants will also work on a community center renovation project, receive a toolbox, a t-shirt, and lunch. All She Builds participants are invited to gather for a celebration event taking place in September at Rustbelt Reclamation in Cleveland.
President and CEO Pam Schuellerman of RTNEO, says she is looking forward to the strong network of women She Builds will create from Akron to Cleveland. “She Builds teaches women how to take care of themselves in their home and support others,” says Schuellerman.
RTNEO will begin She Builds renovation projects in June 2021, bringing over 100 women from all over the region to learn and work together. She Builds will support and impact four women-led organizations: ACCESS Shelter, CHC Addiction Services, Women’s Recovery Center, and Family Promise of Greater Cleveland. Projects will include building elevated gardens, benches, tables, sensory walls for children, and painting murals to brighten outdoor spaces.
RTNEO’s She Builds program was made possible due to support from founding sponsor Associated Underwriters Insurance (AUI). CEO Chrissy Meyers says AUI is more than ready to serve the mission and elevate women. “AUI is grateful for the opportunity to support She Builds. Being a woman-owned business, we are especially passionate about giving women the tools to be successful,” says Meyers.
She Builds is looking for more women who want to get involved. Whether you want to become a She Builder, a sponsor, or spread the word to your fellow female leaders, all participants make an impact on improving the health and safety standards of women’s living conditions.