Leondra's Story: Investing In Our Communities

December 28, 2021
by Ayanna Lewis, Director of Community Revitalization and Impact Measurement at Rebuilding Together National

At Rebuilding Together, we believe in the vital importance of a safe, comfortable and secure home. But “home” is not just the physical building we live in. Home is also the community of friends and neighbors who welcome us in and keep us connected. And when it becomes hard to keep up with the houses we call home, the survival of our broader neighborhood communities can become just as problematic. 

This is Leondra’s story. 

Born and raised in Charlotte, Leondra has lived in her community her entire life. Over the years, she has seen gentrification impact neighborhoods across her city, people displaced and older houses giving way to new developments. When her home needed critical repairs, Leondra, like many of the neighbors in her community, worried that her house too would face a similar fate. 

Rebuilding Together helped make essential repairs to homes in the community, including Leondra’s, and worked on a community garden in the neighborhood. The repairs will help the residents of this neighborhood remain in their homes for generations to come despite the gentrification that is taking place around them.

The impact of rebuilding efforts in cities like Charlotte go well beyond the physical repairs. Sixty percent of neighbors we surveyed reported an increased feeling of inclusion in the neighborhood after repairs. Most of the people whose homes we repair plan to live there forever.

The work of revitalizing communities and repairing homes is a lasting investment in the sometimes fragile fabric of our communities.