Locals ‘Rock the Block’ to revitalize old town Laurel area
From sawing to shoveling, even some painting, volunteers had quite the labor of love Wednesday to help revitalize old town Laurel for Habitat For Humanity and Lowe's Rock the Block event.
“We have seven projects going on today all throughout the town and what's really neat about this is we have three homes Habitat has that we're completely renovating and the other four homes are owner occupied and they're just folks who need a little help,” says Habitat for Humanity Sussex County Executive Director, Kevin Gilmore.
It's a day where locals get their hands dirty to help out their neighbors or rather soon-to-be neighbors.
Like Tierra Carter who is purchasing a home through Habitat and already sees the impact of her community members coming together.
“It’s amazing because you know you have a support system behind you already before you move in. I get to meet my neighbors and get to work on their houses too so now we have a little bond,” explains Carter.
And with a project like this, it won't just be Tierra who sees the impact.
Gilmore says, “We've been building people homes for years and it really has an impact for the folks that buy the house but if we work in a concentrated area we can have an impact for the entire neighborhood.”
An impact the volunteers just helping out feel too.
“We do have a lot of associates that come from this community so just to be able to come out and give back to them and spend the time in the area is super important to everybody,” says Lowe’s employee Tara Cardell.
“Just give back to the community and just give to the folks around here is important, I love it,” says Ryan Hogat.
We're told events like today's ‘Rock the Block’ event was made possible thanks to a generous donation from Lowe's.
Habitat for Humanity Sussex County was one of 22 habitats in the country to receive $70,000 of funding from Lowe’s for its neighborhood revitalization programs.
It's through this funding that Habitat was able to put on Wednesday’s event. It’s also helping to financially cover the renovations to houses just like this one.
Milford Housing Corporation and Habitat are also using it to build new homes right in this neighborhood.
"We've also added in financial empowerment workshops and one on one financial coaching to help the neighborhood start to take control of their finances instead of being controlled by them," says Gilmore.
Most of their focus for the coming months is right in that old town laurel community.