Hundreds of volunteers help take the blight out of one West Philly neighborhood

Paul Kurtz
April 05, 2019 - 5:50 pm

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A blighted block in West Philadelphia will look a whole lot better by the end of this weekend as improvements are being made for low-income homeowners.   

"I'm so excited,” said Alise McFarland. “I've been excited for weeks now."

She could barely contain her joy as she watched Rebuilding Together volunteers make some desperately-needed repairs that she never thought would happen.

"My roof needed a major repair,” she said. “There were leaks in my home. The water was trickling down in other rooms. I have leaks with my plumbing."

The volunteer also made some major electrical and floor repairs. It was a dream come true for Alise and 11 other homeowners along the 4000 block of Cambridge Street.

"We're so happy to be in Parkside," she said.

Stefanie Seldin, RT president and CEO, says a typical block rebuild goes well beyond cosmetic repairs.

"Actually there's a lot of hazards you have to be aware of in a home,” she explains. “Lead is something that often comes to mind, but there's also tripping hazards, especially for the elderly. So we take care of those and add grab bars and handrails, there's asthma triggers, mold and dust and pests."

Seldin is already planning the next block, in another part of West Philly, in early June.

__