Rebuilding Together, partners ‘Make a Difference’ in Naranja

Reyna Chavery paints closet doors.

Bradie Collier, 73, and Lillie Collier, 75, have lived in their Naranja home for 35 years. Bradie is legally blind and Lillie is in a wheelchair.

They have two grandsons and a great granddaughter living with them. Their home is badly in need of repairs including modifications to accommodate the wheelchair. The Colliers are one of 20 homeowners who benefited from Rebuilding Together Miami’s annual Rebuild Day on Apr. 28.

Despite the threat of rain, 350 volunteers turned out to help the Colliers and other deserving homeowners in South Miami-Dade’s Naranja community. In addition to home repairs, the volunteers landscaped St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church and completed a massive cleanup at Sea Pines complex. The rain did come after lunch, but most of the work was done.

Mrs. Collier was overwhelmed with the change to her home.

“I am very excited and very happy because I have seen my bedroom go from where I couldn’t enter and now I can go in with my wheelchair,” she said.

Bradie felt the same way.

“It’s a blessing from God, a blessing from God.”

In the past three years, Rebuilding Together Miami has rehabbed 48 homes in the Naranja community with the help of the Naranja Community Redevelopment Agency, contractors donating their skilled labor and many volunteers. Preserving homeownership and revitalizing communities by providing free rehabilitation services is the mission of Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade.

By leveraging resources and organizing volunteers, Rebuilding Together Miami is able to provide repairs for homeowners to create safe and dry homes. The homeowners live on fixed incomes that force them to choose between medicine and food or repairing a leaking roof.

Funding the home repairs are Raymond James, Chrysalis Center, SunTrust Investment Services, Booz Allen Hamilton, Naranja Community Redevelopment Agency, State Farm, Al- Flex Exterminators, Arellano Construction, Coastal Construction, Cogent Construction, Carlos Luis State Farm, Pepsi Beverages Company, Everglades Steel, First Florida Building Corp, First St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Hollub Homes, Kingdom Cuts, KVC, MCM, Odebrecht Construction, Overholt Construction, Shortys BarBQ, South Pointe Construction, Turner Construction, WM Bagsters, Whole Foods Market Coral Gables, Valspar Paint, LYND Company, Landmark Construction Services, Team Contracting, and Core Construction Services of South Florida.

“We are pleased to make a difference in the lives of the Naranja homeowners. Rebuilding Together Miami is committed to preserving affordable housing and helping those less fortunate “ said Donna Fales, executive director of Rebuilding Together Miami.

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