June 2021
Repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives.
Message from Brad Wood, President
It takes a big team to make a big difference, and that’s what’s happening at Rebuilding Together Sandoval County (RTSC) now.

Our primary focus is on completing renovations to five homes in our Veterans@Home program. Funded by HUD, the program enables RTSC to perform much needed renovations for qualified Veterans in Sandoval County. Renovations include total roof replacements and window replacements as well as bathroom and electrical repairs. 

Our goal is to finish by the end of June, and we are well on our way. A big shout out goes to our contractor partners who have helped make it possible: Doyle Roof Masters, L&M Windows, Alliance Construction Services, Rock Hill Electric, H & J Handyman And Construction Services, and Heavy D Roofing.

At the same time, we are preparing to begin a group of seven houses, due to be renovated under the USDA Housing Preservation Grant. Estimates and work plans are being finalized so we can start on those homes in earnest as soon as the funding is available.

Unfortunately, we are still unable to meet all of our clients' needs with these grants. We have other homeowners who need urgent assistance, but they don’t qualify for grant funding. So, fundraising remains an important activity. I’m happy to see the RTSC Thrift Store open again. The community has been very generous both in their donations and their purchases. RTSC is also selling specialty items online, and the response there has also been very positive.

Overall, there is a lot of good work happening in our community, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our volunteers, donors, and contractors. Thank you all!

Regards,

Bradley Wood, ECHM
President of the Board of Directors
Rebuilding Together Sandoval County
Family Returned Home with RTSC Support
In a previous newsletter, we reported on the dire situation facing an elderly man and his 92-year-old aunt. The pair were forced out of their home for building code violations. The home was originally a two-room adobe structure built in the 1930s and, due to its age, the sanitary sewer, water supply, and electrical systems were not up to code. As a consequence, the Town was forced to condemn the home and deny occupancy to the man and his aunt, at which point the pair became homeless. Happily, the Town issued a certificate of occupancy in March 2021 and our clients have been returned to their home.

RTSC partnered with a local church group and other community volunteers to install a new sanitary sewer line and make repairs necessary for occupancy, including kitchen and bathroom modifications, installation of new electrical wiring and fixtures, and replacement of drywall and flooring. The community volunteers, including a licensed contractor, provided labor and RTSC contributed materials and covered the cost of the connection to the sewer main. 

This project is a testament to the power of community involvement and what can be accomplished when neighbors help neighbors. According to Bonifacio Dimas, who organized the community volunteers, “RTSC has been a Godsend organization and has enabled the community to act upon this need with its funding which has been the heartbeat of this project”. 
In a safe home, children can learn, parents can focus on finding a new job, and seniors can age in place. 
Neighbors In Need
While great progress is being made on the grant-funded projects, the following represent a small sliver of the calls for help we have received. Many homeowners are in desperate need of home repairs to stay safe and remain in their homes. For those who do not meet the grant restrictions, we rely on donors to help these neighbors: 

  • One particularly urgent call came from a disabled woman in Rio Rancho whose annual income is less than $15,000. She needs wheelchair ramps in the front and back of her home to safely move in an out of the house.
  • Another disabled senior has multiple rooms in his home where the ceiling is collapsing due to roof leaks. He is raising his 7-year-old granddaughter, since his daughter passed away. He has nowhere else to turn for help and fears the upcoming monsoon rains.

These are just two examples of many needs that are going unmet due to lack of funds. Please consider a generous donation if you have the means.
RTSC In the News – Work for Vets Featured in Rio Rancho Observer
It is such an honor to meet and help local veterans in need. We are in the final stages of completing five home repair projects for local vets in Rio Rancho and Bernalillo. Many thanks to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification (VHRMP) program for making this possible. The Rio Rancho Observer recently ran a feature article with one vet’s story and gratitude for the help he received.


The other four vets include:
  • An 84-year-old Marine Corps vet suffering from Alzheimer’s,
  • A disabled 83-year-old Air Force vet confined to a wheelchair and living alone,
  • A disabled Army Reserve vet and single mom caring for a teenage daughter, and
  • A Special Forces vet.

We have replaced badly leaking roofs and gutters, remodeled a bathroom for disability access, replaced mold-infested trim, repaired a faulty electrical circuit, and installed safety equipment in all five homes. Work remaining includes window & door replacements in four homes, as well as interior sheetrock repairs in one home.

Welcome Jaleh Gerdemann to the RTSC Board
Jaleh Gerdemann is the newest addition to the RTSC Board of Directors. Jaleh grew up in New Mexico and returned in 2018 to the state she considers home after 16 years away. After graduating high school in Rio Rancho, Jaleh attended Creighton University in Omaha, where she received her undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA. There she served as a team leader and board member for Rebuilding Together Omaha, working directly with families in need. Prior to returning to New Mexico, Jaleh lived in Denver for 10 years and was also involved with Rebuilding Together Metro Denver. She is excited to now be a part of RTSC and give back to her home community.
 
Jaleh is a CPA passionate about serving people, communities, and businesses. She spent several years working in Fortune 500 organizations and was an owner in a small CPA firm in Denver, helping organizations with their growing accounting needs.  
 
Jaleh has a nine-year-old daughter and four-year-old son and she loves spending time with her kids and family, cooking, hiking, traveling, white boarding, and doing Pilates. 
In the words of our clients: “I thank God so much for you guys. It's such a blessing. You don't know how much this helps." 
Clients Express Gratitude for Your Support
As an all-volunteer organization, our reward for the work we do is simply the satisfaction of knowing we made a difference in someone’s life. Here are recent testimonials from clients who are truly thankful for all you do to support us.
Find out how you can help your community.
Volunteer Opportunities
This is a very important time for RTSC. To keep up with our growth, we’re actively seeking new volunteers to help us realize the potential of the organization to improve our community. As a volunteer, you will work with a team of experienced rebuilders, or on your own, if you prefer. You can even work from the comfort of your own home.

Volunteer needs:

Building Committee
  • Contractor Coordinator (i.e. dispatcher) to assist in scheduling and coordinating contractors. Primary skills will be to answer telephone calls, follow up on messages, and track progress from contractors.
  • Handy volunteers to do basic DIY jobs like: installing grab bars, painting, light drywall patching, etc.
Volunteer Committee
  • Volunteer Coordinator to engage and enable volunteers to do work on homes.
Publicity Committee
  • Create content for social and other media channels
  • Outreach to new clients and service organizations
  • Quarterly Newsletters
Fundraising Committee
  • Reach out to donors who support our work
  • Corporate and business outreach
IT Committee
  • Backup "System Manager" for Google Workspace and other organizational IT assets

Email help@rebuildingtogethersandoval.org or call 505-896-3041 to learn more. 
Lowe's Partnership Enters 14th Year
The work of Rebuilding Together makes homes safer and improves the health of our neighbors; but we can’t do this important work without the support of our dedicated partners. Lowe’s has been supporting Rebuilding’s work since 2007, collaborating closely to deepen our impact in neighborhoods and communities nationwide. The partnership focuses on addressing urgent housing challenges by providing safe homes for veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, victims of disaster and frontline workers. Nationally, Lowe’s is investing $3.5 million in more than 30 communities across the country this year. Locally, Lowes is providing RTSC with gift cards that can be used at Lowe’s stores for supplies and resources. Year after year, Lowe’s has remained truly committed to our mission. 
Thrift Store Reopening
clothing-boutique-sale.jpg
The long-awaited thrift store reopening took place on May 1 and we were greeted by many loyal customers. The store has for many years been a source for inexpensive clothes, housewares, furniture, building supplies, collectibles, toys, jewelry, linens, appliances, and much more. COVID-19 forced us to close for over a year, but we are now open on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. 

Donated items come from generous neighbors and all the money generated goes to repairing homes of low-income families in Sandoval County. The entire operation is run by volunteers who have a lot of fun in the process.

Please visit us at 854 Camino Don Tomas in Bernalillo (enter at gate just north of the basketball court at the corner of Don Tomas & Don Francisco) on Saturday, 10am to 2pm. Donations can be delivered at that time. For other delivery times call 505-867-1139 or email help@rebuildingtogethersandoval.org.
Sandia Chill Concert Benefits RTSC – Join us for great blues music on Labor Day
Have some fun and support our cause by joining us for an evening of blues music on Labor Day. We know summer has just started but it’s never a bad idea to plan ahead and we expect this concert will sell out.

On September 5, 2021 Canyon Blues & Jazz will sponsor a concert at Homestead Village in Placitas with music by Memphis P-Tails, Joe Daddy Blues, Kaktus Kats, and Felix y los Gatos. Proceeds will benefit RTSC.

Get tickets and details here http://www.canyonbluesandjazz.org/tickets.htm
Let's Get Social:
To all of you reading this newsletter, THANK YOU! We couldn't serve the community without our volunteers and supporters. You make a difference to all the people whose lives are made better by our work.