Rebuilding Together
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In this week’s Contractors in the Community post we’d like to highlight a group of contractors who have risen above and beyond the call of duty to restore hope to those still living in homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. The organization, known as Rebuilding Together, provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications as well as other upgrades to those who may not be able to afford it. Last weekend, the Jersey City chapter of Rebuilding Together and 35 of their volunteers sought to restore hope to some of its’ residents.

After Sandy hit, nearly two years ago now, there were plenty of photos of houses that were reduced to rubble, of boardwalks torn to pieces and of toppled power lines. Those were the most obvious indicators of Sandy’s influence on the Tri-State area. But, what you didn’t see was the mold growing inside the formerly flooded houses or the basements still submerged in murky ocean water. Such images don’t really show up very well in photographs.

It’s more of a feeling than anything truly visual when you stumble across such subtle, yet blatant, clues of a natural disaster. I remember walking through a Long Beach neighborhood just after the storm hit. I saw boats in yards and all of the obvious effects of the storm but as you walked down the coast line you could almost feel which houses survived the storm (and which ones didn’t). So while such an enormous amount of debris has been removed I can only imagine how many houses across Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut are still reeling from the effects of the storm (even though it might not look like that from the outside).

On their trip to Jersey City this past weekend Rebuilding Together focused on repairing the damages you might not see as you pass by. Most of the homes being repaired had been flooded during the storm which meant their basements have been languishing in disrepair for the past 20 months. Contractors like Geno Pepe and Shawn Kemp volunteered their time on a Saturday to restore hope to residents who never thought their home would be the same ever again.

“I thought there was no way I could fix my basement,” said Norberto Lucero, a resident of Jersey City, “I’m very fortunate to have them (the volunteers) here.”

Rebuilding Together has been working to fix damage caused by Hurricane Sandy since 2013 and they will continue to do so until their work is done. If you’d like to volunteer with them or get in contact with the organization please feel free to check out their website, here. Thank you!