Rochelle Fortier, age 70, is a mother, immigration lawyer and long-time resident of Daly City. Today, however, with most of her family living out of state and with limited physical mobility, she struggles to care for the outdoor space around her home. Fortunately, Rochelle’s home was one of six that were chosen as part of the Lowe’s Rebuild-A-Block program, which included grant money for labor and materials needed to clean up and repair her backyard.
In October, 15 volunteers cleared out the overgrown ivy that had destroyed Rochelle’s fence and encroached on her home. They removed dead trees and trimmed and saved the trees she had planted. They also added pavers for a safer walking path, planted flowers and even installed a relaxing fire pit. Lowe’s will soon be installing a new fence for additional security and privacy.
“I’m not in my 50s anymore, or my 60s for that matter. I just couldn’t possibly do it,” Rochelle told a reporter from KTVU Fox News. “Prices are going up, and those of us who live in older homes are really starting to have a lot of challenges.”
Stan Travis, an ordained minister, site manager for Second Harvest Food Bank, and a beloved member of the community, also benefitted from the grant. Unfortunately, the cost of living in the Bay Area has taken a toll on Stan’s extended family and their ability to live independently, so he graciously opens his doors to many of them.
Unfortunately, the square footage in Stan’s home is limited. With so many people living in the house, belongings are scattered everywhere. Stan is exposed to tripping and fire hazards and potential pest infestations as a result. With that in mind, he turned to RTP for help.
RTP volunteers painted the outside of Stan’s house, removed excess belongings from his garage, and rebuilt the fence in his backyard. “RTP has been a tremendous blessing,” he said. “The organization restores dignity and peace of mind by helping the community, especially the elderly who have come on hard times and have trouble maintaining their property.”