Revitalize Restores Ronald's Hot Water

Ronald is an Army veteran who was part of the 452nd Medical Squadron and was on standby for the Bay of Pigs invasion. He has lived in his home for 50 years, where he raised three sons, one of whom passed away in July.

Ronald is lucky enough to have a neighbor named Elsie who has taken it upon herself to look after him. One day, Ronald was asking her about how to care for burns. Concerned, Elsie asked where they came from and was stunned to hear the answer. It turned out Ronald hadn’t had hot water for over a year and had been boiling water to sponge bathe. One day, the water was too hot and caused severe burns to Ronald’s body.

Elsie didn’t understand how her friend went without hot water for so long and kept it so well hidden. It turns out Ronald had tried to have the water heater fixed on his own. He had someone come to his home who claimed he could repair it, but that he would have to take it with him to do so. Ronald never saw or heard from him again. To make matters worse, Ronald applied to the Social Development Commission (SDC) to have his home weatherized and was deferred because he didn’t have a water heater.

Ronald didn’t know what else to do so he simply adjusted to his new normal. Elsie couldn’t let her friend risk burning himself again so she went online to find resources and came across Revitalize Milwaukee. The RM team was able to work with Elsie to expedite the application process and approve the repairs the same day.

When RM’s Construction Manager visited Ronald, she saw first-hand that the contractor who took the water heater also took the plumbing, electrical wiring and vent leaving a lone pipe coming from the ceiling. This meant the scope of work would now involve hiring a second contractor to install new plumbing, vents and electrical.

When the work was complete, RM let SDC know that Ronald’s hot water heater was replaced. His application for weatherization services was immediately approved.

Exposed piping in Ronald’s basement.
Amy Sorenson