WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

SPRINGFIELD — Chipping paint, broken railings, overgrown brush — these are the kind of repairs that many homeowners have neither the time nor money to tackle. In Springfield, there are plenty of houses that could benefit from a little TLC and on April 27, volunteers will provide just that with the #GreenNFit program from Revitalize Community Development Corporation.

“Everyday people need help … fixing a roof of aging in place. We have a long waiting list,” said Colleen Shanley-Loveless, president and CEO of Revitalize CDC.

According to mass.gov, the nonprofit was founded in 1992 with the purpose of completing “critical repairs, modifications and rehabilitation on the homes and nonprofit facilities of low-income families with children, the elderly, military veterans and people with special needs” in Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee. The organization also works on vacant lots, unused greenspace and dilapidated playground equipment. In 2013, the #GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild program began focusing its repair efforts, maximizing impact in one neighborhood at a time. The state website said that between now and 2030, the program will be focused on the Old Hill and the North End areas. Revitalize CDC has worked on a total of 806 homes since it was created, with 200 of them, in a 10-block area, being repaired between 2013 and 2019.

This year, #GreenNFit will focus on 12 homes in the Memorial Square neighborhood of Springfield, on Chapin Terrace, Lancashire Road, and Massasoit and Jardine streets. Revitalize CDC stated in a press release that one of the #GreenNFit recipients is the Borrero family. Pedro and Librada “Libby” Borrero — both Springfield natives — have been together since 1983 and they bought their home in 1993. The couple raised two daughters and their niece in the home. They now live with one of their daughters and their two grandchildren, who they are helping to raise.

Revitalize CDC stated, “They love their neighborhood as it’s very family oriented and they are friendly with neighbors who have owned their homes for just as long as them. They were so excited when they heard that Revitalize CDC will be able to help with home repairs and improvements.

They feel so grateful, amazed and feel so emotional. They didn’t expect that RCDC would be able to help them with work that they couldn’t do on their own.”

Volunteers will meet in the parking lot of Walgreens Community Pharmacy, 619 Chestnut St., at 8 a.m. and work until 1 p.m. Shanley-Loveless said people do not have to have experience with home improvement to volunteer. Projects involving skilled labor will be done by contractors, she said. The organization has historically had as many as 1,000 volunteers participate in #GreenNFit, from as far away as Maine and Florida, Shanley-Loveless said. This year, 100 members from each of the football teams at American International College, Springfield College and Westfield State University have committed to volunteer. Employees from sponsoring businesses and individuals from across the area also participate.

“There’s so much out there that people are willing to give,” Shanley-Loveless said. When people need help, she said, “You get up and do what you can.”

Aside from the #GreenNFit program, Revitalize CDC makes critical safety, healthy and energy-efficient repairs in the homes of veterans and performs housing conditions assessments and improvements for people with asthma and seniors who wish to safely remain in their home has partnered with the BeHealthy Partnership Accountable Care Organization to address diabetes, childhood obesity, and food insecurity. Housing conditions assessments and improvements are performed for people with asthma and seniors who wish to safely remain in their homes. For the latter part of that initiative, the organization partners with Greater Springfield Senior Services. Revitalize CDC has also partnered with Springfield Partners for Community Action to provide help repairs, pest control, and medical equipment and supplies.

To volunteer for #GreenNFit, request an address be included in next year’s #GreenNFit program or learn about becoming a sponsor, visit revitalizecdc.com/greennfit.

sheinonen@thereminder.com | + posts