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Revitalize CDC to Kick Off Annual #GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild

SPRINGFIELD — Revitalize CDC will kick off its annual #GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild Month with a press conference on Wednesday, April 4 at 10 a.m. at the home of Elsa Gordon, 64 Manhattan St., Springfield.

Elsa, 89, and her late husband purchased their home in 2000. Since his death in 2008, she has tried to maintain her home as best as she can on a limited income. Originally from Jamaica, she has physical disabilities and finds it difficult to walk at times. She is the mother of three grown children who live outside of the area. During her younger years, she worked as a seamstress and a beautician. She said she would like to go to work and is looking into employement at MGM Springfield.

Her home has been broken into three times because it has several broken windows in the basement. Shingles are falling off her poorly installed roof. She does not have hand railing on the front, back, and side steps. Her steps are in serious need of repair.

Revitalize CDC is working to help raise funds and recruit skilled volunteers to work on Elsa’s home during #GreenNFit month along with another 11 homes. Two of the 11 homes are owned by Vietnam-era military veterans. The goal is to work on dozens of homes on 10 contiguous blocks in the Old Hill Neighborhood each year. This initiative will ultimately rebuild almost 300 homes, clean up vacant lots, improve neighborhood playgrounds, and create community gardens.

Revitalize CDC focuses on making meaningful improvements on homes to help reduce energy use; save money; and create a safe, healthy, and sustainable living environment for residents and the community. Improvements include installing or retrofitting HVAC systems to allow for oil-to-natural-gas heat and solar conversions; new roofs; energy-efficient windows, doors, and appliances; water-saving plumbing fixtures; electrical upgrades; mold remediation, lead abatement, and pest control; interior and exterior painting; and modifying homes for aging or disabled homeowners, such as building exterior access ramps.

Each year, more than 1,000 volunteers from Maine to Virginia work alongside residents of Springfield, the Old Hill Neighborhood, and the targeted block. Families who benefited from past GreenNFit events — on Tyler Street, Pendleton Avenue, King Street, Lebanon Street, Greene Street, Alden Street, and now Manhattan Street — volunteer to help their neighbors on the next block.

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