Near West Side Partners revitalize neighborhoods one house at a time
Revitalize Milwaukee completed critical repairs to revitalize eight homes in the Miller Valley neighborhood on November 4.
The day included 180 volunteers who completed extensive home repairs and beautification work. Block Build – Near West Side is an extension of the Revitalize Milwaukee year-round program where one home is repaired every day of the year for a total of 340 homes. The Near West Side Block Build has concentrated efforts on a triangular plot of homes, on North 37h Street and West State Street and West Miller Lane. Revitalize Milwaukee hopes to show the dramatic impact concentrated revitalization efforts can have on a single neighborhood.
“The partnership and teamwork to bring about this mammoth endeavor from area organizations, businesses and sponsors has been incredible and will leave a lasting impact on this tremendous neighborhood,” said Lynnea Katz-Petted CEO, “It has been such an honor to work with so many committed to improve the lives and homes of these very deserving residents.”
One example of a homeowner assistance is Deirdre, who first moved into her house in April 1970 as a renter. Renting the house enabled her to walk to work on Highland Boulevard. Then in 1980, she purchased the house with her father. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and went on to get her graduate degree in Psychotherapy, combining her love of art and therapy to help her clients. Deirdre is a retired nun. She was a professor of counseling at Mount Mary University. Years ago, she had an accident and fell and broke her pelvis in six places. Today, Deirdre is primarily wheelchair bound from degenerative back bones and bilateral hip replacements. Deirdre needs a ramp to get to her car and through Block Build – Near West Side a small ramp was constructed.
During the event contractors and volunteers made critical repairs to 8 existing homes. Highlights of the event included: a small ramp, two new front porches, and several new ADA Toilets and grab bars. Each house also received outside cleanup and landscaping.
Like many of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, the Miller Valley neighborhood struggles with an aging population of homeowners, deferred maintenance, absentee landlords and the associated transient population of renters, boarded up vacant home, a large number of city foreclosures, tax delinquency, and a high percentage of residents who live below the poverty line.
Revitalize Milwaukee’s mission is to stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods and revitalize communities by providing free, critical home repairs, accessibility modifications and comprehensive services for low-income homeowners who are senior citizens, veterans and persons with disabilities. Home by Home, block by block, entire communities are transformed.