This Saturday, a double amputee Marine Corps Veteran will be able to once again live in his Del Paso Home thanks to 4 housing nonprofits and the local community coming together to repair his home.
During his time serving our country, for which he received a rifle marksman badge and good conduct medal, Cleo lost his legs. Within the last two years, Cleo’s kidneys started to fail and though they have regained function, a brain surgery has
left him paralyzed on the right side of his body in his neck, face, and arm. Due to deferred maintenance and lack of accessibility, Cleo has been unable to live independently in his own home.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento received Cleo’s cry for help and reached out to fellow housing nonprofits Rebuilding Together, Community Resource Project, and Neighborworks to see if they could combine resources like a potluck (each doing
a part) and help make this substantial critical repair project for Cleo possible. Carrie Grip, CEO of Rebuilding Together Sacramento which heavily focuses on accessibility features and interior critical repairs, was the first to answer the call.
Rebuilding Together Sacramento took on re-doing the bathrooms and making them accessible, along with partner Reeve Knight. Community Resource Project came on next, providing weatherization including windows and doors, HVAC, and appliances. Neighborworks provided volunteer support alongside with hundreds of Habitat volunteers. Habitat managed the project with their major partner Home Depot taking on the Kitchen and other areas of the home with support from additional Habitat community partners such as Health Net Federal Services, the Air Warrior Courage Foundation, and the Gary Sinise Foundation. Salam Credit Union also partnered on the project through Rebuilding Together Sacramento.
“Too often as nonprofits we feel like we’re in competition for resources,” believes Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento CEO Leah Miller, “But we must not compete against each other; our energy must go only towards competing against poverty housing.”
Rebuilding Together Sacramento’s CEO, Carrie Grip agrees.
“We were so touched by Cleo’s story that we wanted to join the effort to improve his quality of life in recognition of his service and sacrifice.” said Grip. “Collaboration isn’t always easy, but when the situation is right, strategic relationships can
result in a variety of benefits such as cost -savings, shared expertise, more efficient delivery of services and access to those in need. Organizations can often achieve greater mission-related results when working together.”
The dedication event is open to the public and media. It will take place Saturday, October 19th at 10am at 3914 Balsam Street.
To learn more about Cleo, his home repair process, and how it was all made possible watch our Veteran Cleo Returns Home video.
Interested in being a part of a project like this? Contact Laine Himmelmann at LHimmelmann@HabitatGreaterSac.org.