TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Several Tampa Bay area families are receiving much-needed home repairs months after Hurricane Irma hit.
Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay (RTTB) is partnering with Spectrum, Charter Communications Inc. and the City of Tampa to provide roof replacements to several pre-selected low-income homeowners that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.
On Saturday, more than 30 volunteers from Spectrum painted and cleaned the yards of two hurricane-impacted homes that were recently re-roofed as part of this project.
“Disaster recovery begins and ends at the local level,” said RTTB Executive Director Jose Garcia. “Neighbor helping neighbor is what long-term disaster recovery is all about.”
“People need help, and we saw a need for people to be able to have an organization that they could turn to, to be able to come in and rehab houses, to help these people stay in their homes,” Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay President Cletus Clark told WFLA.
With every swipe of paint, homeowners watched in awe.
“I want to say I’m very thankful with them taking care of the house,” Maria Martinez said.
Through the Disaster Recovery Roof Replacement Project, Maria Martinez will be one of the benefactors of a new roof. Martinez, who retired after working for Hillsborough County Public Schools for 14 years, was impacted by the storm that damaged her home. Severe roof leaks and breaches led to the collapse of her bathroom ceiling and her social security check is not sufficient to repair all of the damage.
“I know that you had other plans, or had others things that you could have been doing, but you took the time to come and help the homeowners. I’m so grateful for what you guys are doing,” Latheria Washington said.
Washington’s home was badly damaged when Hurricane Irma hit the bay area.
“Without this program, it would have probably been forever before we could get these things done,” she said. “I’m almost in tears. I’m just so blessed, so thankful, and I’m just speechless.”
According to organizers, $60,000 was spent on four homes, two of which will be completed in early April. The homes will get new roofs, soffits/fascia, pressure washing, door replacements and repairs.
The homeowners were selected by applying through the website. For more information about RTTB and its projects, visit www.rttb.org.