18 South Bend homes being rehabilitated for free - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

18 South Bend homes being rehabilitated for free

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Over a dozen homes were being rehabilitated Saturday in South Bend.  It was for Rebuilding Together's annual "Christmas in April."

Kenneth Kalicki and his wife live in a home getting a new roof.  The home originally belonged to his wife's father.  "It's almost 100 years old, needs a lot of work," said Kalicki.  The roof isn't the only new thing their house is getting.  Kalicki said, "We're getting a new furnace, central air, which we don't have. "  They're also getting a new water heater and new basement steps.

And the best part about all the improvements?  Kalicki said, "free for me...I don't pay a penny "

That's right, 18 homeowners are getting their homes fixed up for free thanks to Rebuilding Together.  The projects are funded through federal money and local sponsors.  And hundreds of volunteers donate their time.  Bob Shively with Carpenter's Union 413 said, "I'll be here probably at least 8 hours today "  But his time is worth it.  "There's people out there right now with the economy that can't afford to have things done," said Shively.

And as the Mayor tackles vacant and abandoned housing these home improvements help keep homeowners in their homes so the number of abandoned homes doesn't increase.  Rebuilding Together Coordinator Michael Divita said, "It's an effort to keep neighborhood strong...keep the homes in good shape."

Because without Rebuilding Together the home improvements wouldn't happen.  "Oh no!  I couldn't afford all this," said Kalicki.

Next weekend is community volunteer day for Rebuilding Together.  About 500 volunteers will be completing cosmetic improvements on the homes, like new paint jobs.

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