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Volunteers fix up a senior's home and yard in the Mount Scott-Arleta neighborhood. Here's the story

DAVID F. ASHTON - Volunteers pitching in at this Rebuilding Together Portland volunteer site in Mt. Scott-Arleta pause for a group photo in the driveway of a home that had been completely overgrown with vegetation when they arrived. Delayed from last April due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus, volunteers from nonprofit "Rebuilding Together Portland" held their annual day of service, "Rebuild Day", on Saturday, September 26.

"Together, our affiliates and volunteers serve veterans, older adults, or low-income families, by providing them with a variety of critical home repairs – or major debris and garbage removal," explained the organization's Executive Director, Mike Malone. "The repairs are provided free of charge to the homeowners who, often faced with diminishing resources, often must choose food and medicine over critical home repairs.

"Our sites are stocked with personal protection equipment and supplies, and there is a 'Safety Coordinator' at each site; we've tried to be as careful as possible, because the safety and health of everyone is our priority," Malone remarked.

At the day's cleanup project home in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood, Malone introduced us to a crew working around a house on S.E. Henry Place.

Volunteers, including project leader Dave Hallin of Summit Reconstruction, were busy helping out with all kinds of chores on the crisp, autumnal morning.

"A major project here is putting in a stormwater drainage collector to catch all of the rain that comes off the street, which has been flowing directly into her garage," Hallin pointed out. "An automatic sump pump in the underground catch basin will now pump the water out behind the house."

Steve Rourke of ProGrass Landscaping, and other volunteers, were laboring in the yard. "I was asked to help clear the property here by James, at Gray Star Property Management; it was completely grown over – in fact, Christina's car was completely buried in vegetation when we arrived!"

Looking joyful and amazed as the work quickly progressed, the benefiting homeowner, Christina Stenerson, told THE BEE, "These are my angels; I appreciate them so much. Thank you so much, 'Rebuilding Together' folks!"

You can learn more about "Rebuilding Together Portland", and its community activities, online – www.rtpdx.org


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