Free Milwaukee home renovations help in-need homeowners

Twenty-seven people prepared to sleep in newly-renovated houses Saturday night, Aug. 14. Revitalize Milwaukee volunteers making it happen during this year's Block Build.

For the last two decades, Revitalize Milwaukee has been renovating houses for homeowners in need – free of charge – to ensure they have what they need.

"We do everything we can to keep them accessible, to keep their basic needs to be met and just help them truly live their best lives," said Lynnea Katz-Petted, Revitalize Milwaukee CEO.

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The homeowners include senior citizens, veterans and people with disabilities. The Block Build included 450 volunteers helping with repairs, whether it be the front porch, kitchen, bathroom or all three.

"Most of these homes that we’re walking into, we’re replacing the kitchen because they have no cabinets, no drawers, stuff is either rotted off or falling off the wall, you name it," Katz-Petted said.

Volunteers with Revitalize Milwaukee's 2021 Block Build.

For people like Gloria Tiscareno, whose kitchen is the gathering place for her family, the Block Build was a dream come true.

"I haven’t really been able to fix any of these things, and they were really, really run down, especially my cabinets," said Tiscareno. "That is so exciting, I can't even know how to mention it, it's so exciting."

"What they're doing in the kitchen especially, every time we come here, that’s where we spend our time," Eric Mata, Tiscareno's son, said. "If anybody deserves it, it's my mom."

Volunteers with Revitalize Milwaukee's 2021 Block Build.

During the Block Build, volunteers complete every home's renovations in one day – and look forward to meeting whoever they get to help next.

"This is really a team effort for the community. We really need to come together in this time and day and really elevate our communities, elevate our people, and make sure everybody is loved and cared for," said Katz-Petted.

For information on how to benefit from or volunteer with Revitalize Milwaukee, visit freehomerepairs.org.

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