A group of volunteers spent this hot day painting a house in north Springfield. It’s part of a couple larger efforts to improve low income areas.
One north Springfield house is got a fresh coat of bright new colors. “She said most houses in this neighborhood are like brown and gray, and they wanted to kind of brighten it up a little bit,” says volunteer Rachel Barron.
It’s a hot day for painting, but this group is used to the heat. “We make sure that we’re constantly drinking, and that we take breaks to get in the shade,” says Barron. They’re Bike and Build volunteers, bicycling from Maine to California, building and fixing up affordable housing.
“It’s just something people don’t really realize is really crucial for communities,” Barron says.
Jennifer Brizendine and her family are grateful for the help. “I’m very, very excited. My husband is at work, working a bunch of overtime and stuff, so I can’t wait until he comes home. This is what he envisioned; green and gray,” says Brizendine.
All the sprucing up will go far beyond Jennifer’s house. Habitat for Humanity is working on a neighborhood revitalization for the entire Woodland Heights neighborhood. “We think we can make a greater impact by starting with one neighborhood,” says Melissa Adler, Community Outreach Development Associate with Habitat for Humanity.
As part of the northwest Springfield effort known as Zone Blitz, Habitat for Humanity is working with residents to set goals and bring in partners to help implement plans. “This neighborhood is electrified with energy. They are so ready for change in this neighborhood. They know it can be a great neighborhood. They have a vision for it, and we’re just here to help them,” says Adler.
“We have awesome neighbors,” says Brizendine. She’s excited her home is one of the first to get a fresh new look. “Thank you to all of them. I really appreciate it. My family really appreciates it,” says Brizendine.
Even after today, the revitalization efforts will continue to focus on the Woodland Heights neighborhood. Anyone who’s interested in helping out can contact Habitat for Humanity.
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