ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Doris Scott couldn't afford to fix her home of 40 years. Neither could 72-year-old Annie Seay. But when dozens of people recently showed up to repair their leaky roofs, paint, clean debris from the yard, and fix a host of broken items, the ladies didn't have to spend a cent.
"Without them, I wouldn't be able to financially do it on my own because I'm a widow and I live on a fixed income," Seay said.
"I mean, I just feel so good about it. It's a blessing from above, I tell you, because I really need it," Scott said.
The work was done for free thanks to Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, a branch of a national organization that operates under the fundamental belief that all people deserve to live in a safe and decent home.
The group works most closely with low-income people with disabilities and senior citizens.
"People are getting older. It's getting more difficult for them. So when we come and help them and replace a roof so the house will be drier or repair the lead paint, it's a big deal," said RTTB Executive Director Jose Garcia.
In the Bay Area, Rebuilding Together has helped more than 100 homeowners since going to work in 2000. "Rebuilding Tampa Bay has been a great partner as we've gone through, really, block by block and trying and lift up neighborhoods," St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster noted of their work.
Every time the work is done, the gratitude is the same, while RTTB proves it is making a difference. "Yes, it is a true blessing and I'm very, very thankful for all that they have done for me," Seay said.
Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay's next project will be Healthy Homes for Sulphur Springs. The group will be teaming up with Tampa Electric to ensure homes in the Sulphur Springs area are safe and energy efficient. That project is expected to start in June.