Homeowners Success Stories
Michelle is the single mother of Abigail and Autumn, a seven-year-old girl with Angelman Syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder characterized by developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures and walking and balance disorders. The condition has left Autumn with the cognitive ability of a toddler and confined to a wheelchair because of her frequent falls and fragile bones. When her husband passed away unexpectedly in 2016, Michelle was left to raise their two girls on her own. As Autumn grew heavier, Michelle struggled more and more to fold and unfold the wheelchair and carry her in and out of their home. Even with all her struggles, Michelle didn’t want to ask for help. It took consistent urging from her friend for her to finally reach out to RM. RM’s contractors built a wheelchair ramp to ease access in and out of the house. They also replaced the vinyl flooring in the bathroom with non-slip flooring and installed grab bars to prevent falls as Michelle lifts Autumn in and out of the tub. But perhaps the most life-changing for Michelle’s family were the modifications made to Autumn’s bedroom. The combination of Autumn’s cognitive and physical disabilities made it impossible for Michelle to have a moment of peace. She had to constantly monitor her activity to ensure she was safe. RM made a secure place for Autumn to play by padding all the walls and installing a half-door, which allowed Michelle to see in without allowing her to get out. These repairs were truly life-altering for the family.
Jose is a retired foundry worker who has lived with diabetes for over 20 years. He was born in Mexico, but moved his family to Milwaukee in 1979 and has lived here ever since, spending the last 27 years in his current home. He is married and has six adult children, three boys and three girls. His wife recently retired from Patrick Cudahy. As a result of his medical condition, both his legs had to be amputated and he is bound to a wheelchair. With no ramp allowing him easy access in and out of his home, his daughters had to carry him up and down the stairs. But because they couldn’t do it on their own, they had to solicit help from neighbors to be able to do so. “We literally have to knock on people’s doors to see who can help us bring him down,” his daughter Silvia said. Jose’s lack of mobility has caused him to suffer from depression. He missed being able to enjoy the outdoors and especially missed the trips to his favorite place, 7 Mile Fair. On Jose’s 68th birthday, the Revitalize Milwaukee team were ecstatic to deliver the news that a contractor would be building him a ramp. Not only will this ramp help Jose regain his sense of independence, hopefully alleviating his depression, but it will also ensure that he can safely leave and enter his home and he will not have to depend on anyone else to do so.
Priscilla lives is a small single family house in the Columbia Park neighborhood. When not working her third-shift job, Priscilla takes care of her granddaughter, whome she gained custody of to save her from an unsafe family environment. Recently, as Priscilla was getting ready for work, she went to take a bath and the bathtub was sparking due to water leaking down to the electrical box in her basement. She couldn’t afford a plumber or electrician and family and friends were unsure of how to fix the problem. She was frightened that she or her granddaughter could be electrocuted, so they were left unable to use the bathroom for over three weeks before being referred to Revitalize Milwaukee. Priscilla became very emotional during Revitalize Milwaukee’s home visit because she began to realize that someone was actually going to help her. Revitalize Milwaukee helped bring some much-needed peace to Priscilla’s world by fixing her home’s plumbing and electrical issues, as well as repairing the tile in her bathroom, allowing her and her granddaughter to once again use the bathroom safely.
Judy is in her sixties and lives alone in West Allis in a single-family home. She was having problems with the sewer backing up in her basement and tried snaking her drain many times on her own with no success. She needed help, but suffers from severe anxiety, so asking for help put her in an extremely vulnerable state. She also worried that, if she did reach out, she might lose her home. Judy’s social worker, Rachel, helped put Judy in contact with Revitalize Milwaukee. Judy was still extremely worried and anxious so Revitalize Milwaukee was only able to communicate with Judy through her social worker. Revitalize Milwaukee was able to enter Judy’s home and fix the sewer backup. Afterward, Judy was more accepting of help and allowed Revitalize Milwaukee to come back and perform more needed repairs to her home. Revitalize was able to secure the handrails in her home, install an ADA-height toilet and reinstall loose insulation in the attic. Revitalize Milwaukee brought peace of mind to Judy by making needed repairs to her home and reassuring her that these issues would not cause her to lose her home.
Terrace is a 35 year old veteran and the father of three. Terrace, his wife, Taylor, and their three children live on $1,324 a month in a single-family home in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The family had been having problems for some time with their water heater. Terrace tried repairing it himself but, when he heard a sizzling noise, he knew the problem was much too serious to repair on his own. He discovered that his tub and toilet were leaking into an electrical outlet in the basement. He couldn’t afford to hire a professional plumber, but he knew he needed to find a solution fast in order to keep his family safe. Terrace contacted the local Veteran’s Administration and they referred him to Revitalize Milwaukee. Revitalize Milwaukee was able to help him with this emergency situation, installing a new hot water heater and repairing the plumbing leak. As a veteran, Terrace was able to find help with Revitalize Milwaukee and keep his home safe for his young children.
Judi is a widow and has lived in Menomonee Falls, in her childhood home, for over 61 years and currently lives there with her 21-year-old daughter, who has disabilities. Judi is in a wheelchair, but can only take a few steps on her own. She did not leave her house often, but not by choice. Judi was scared to use her wheelchair ramp because it was too steep. Revitalize Milwaukee improved the existing ramp by installing hand railings. To further ensure that Judi would be able to leave her house safely, Revitalize Milwaukee added an additional ramp with railings from her front door to the sidewalk. Revitalize Milwaukee not only helped improve what Judi already had, but also took the extra step to ensure that Judi could leave her home safely by installing a second, less-steep ramp.
Mildred and her husband raised their family is their single-family, two-story home in the Midtown neighborhood, where Mildred has now lived for over 37 years. Her husband passed away in 1997 and, since then, Mildred has lived alone on only $890 per month. It has become more and more difficult for her to maintain her home as she aged. Now, at the age of 82, she really needs help. Mildred’s son, Jarvis stepped in and was trying his best to help her around her home, but he also had his own home to care for and just couldn’t find enough time to keep up with the maintenance. A deteriorating porch made it difficult for Mildred to leave her house safely. The city’s building inspector cited her home with multiple and extensive violations. Mildred’s son called Revitalize Milwaukee for help. Just after applying, the front porch collapsed, virtually trapping her in her home. Revitalize Milwaukee instantly went to work to help Mildred with her home’s major problems. Revitalize Milwaukee worked with the building inspector to reverse current fines and to apply for an extension, allowing Revitalize Milwaukee the time necessary to make the repairs. Revitalize Milwaukee did extensive repairs to her home including – building a new front porch, railings, cleaning gutters, fixing outside electrical, replacing missing window screens and much more. Revitalize was able to help Mildred fix a significant portion of the code violations. Revitalize Milwaukee helped make Mildred’s home safe and enabled her to once again come and go safely and without assistance.