By: Toni Eby, Operations Manager
What do you do when you need some upgrades to your building, but the majority of your budget goes to providing services? This was the question we had to ask ourselves when our Capital Needs Assessment was completed, and we needed quite a few things that as a non-profit, wasn’t in our budget. Since making sure that SafeHouse remains a warm and welcoming environment is one of our top priorities, we sat down and brainstormed new and inventive ways to get the projects done. One option was to apply to Rebuilding Together SF, a non-profit that makes repairs to the homes of San Francisco residents as well as the facilities of community organizations that support them.
From the very first contact, Rebuilding Together understood our needs and were respectful to the women we serve. They helped us come up with a plan that took care of some of the building’s immediate needs, while also pointing out that they could transform our outdoor space into a fun functional space for SafeHouse women. In addition, they asked for feedback via surveys from our women and included them in the planning process. We were selected for the April rebuilding day, and were part of the new SHEBuilds initiative, in which the volunteers consisted of all women builders. We were thrilled that our women’s program was in the capable hands of all women volunteers.
On National Rebuilding Day, 30 volunteers descended on SafeHouse for a variety of projects. Volunteers refinished our kitchen cabinets and added new handles, cleaned the grout on the kitchen counters, replaced the kitchen faucet, replaced a bathroom faucet, replaced seven light fixtures, and completely remodeled the backyard. The backyard itself was transformed into a therapeutic healing space that the women now use on a regular basis. The volunteers built a deck, a chalkboard, several benches, repaired the sprinklers, and replanted the entire backyard. We also received new patio furniture, a new grill, and a new fire pit table. Amazingly, the bulk of the work was done in one day, with only one previous prep day. The total donated project value was over $12,000 and was completely free to SafeHouse. We had an amazing experience working with Rebuilding Together SF and look forward to seeing other projects they complete in the San Francisco community.