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Eighteen local homeowners grateful for renovations

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Eighteen lucky homeowners can finally check off the items on their pesky to-do lists.

"It's not everyday that somebody comes in your home and does things that you can't afford to do or are not able to do," said Sharon Giles, homeowner.

Her home on Fisher Street is one of the eighteen lucky homes on the west side selected for a pick-me-up, and she says help couldn't have come at a better time.

"Couldn't be better. My husband's in the hospital. He was diagnosed with colon cancer," said Giles.

Before his health declined, he was her handyman. But now, a group of volunteer union tradesmen are completing that unfinished honey-do list.

"It's something I kind of look forward to," said Randy Smith, retired plumber.

Retired plumber Smith worked for Local 172 for 39 years. He's offered his set of hands every year since the project's birth.

"It's helping the community and it's helping your neighbor," said Smith.

Over 800 union workers will replace at least seven roofs, furnaces, water heaters, windows, gutters, level porches and even install a handicap ramp.
 
"Many people obviously are very grateful. It gets homeowners pretty emotional and overwhelmed with just the amount of repairs," said Michael Divita, coordinator, Rebuilding Together.

Repairs Giles said she never thought she'd have to the chance to make.

"I'm just gonna be so overwhelmed that I'm not gonna know how to act. I'm gonna be so appreciative," said Giles.

Next weekend community volunteers will finish all the work and complete those finishing touches

Since the nonprofit's start in 1989, "Rebuilding Together" has rehabbed 827 homes in the South Bend area.

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