Program Case Studies

While the San Francisco Peninsula is one of the wealthiest areas in the United States, there are more than 50,000 households which earn less than $50,000 per year, according to the Bay Area Equity Atlas (2022). For these neighbors, the high cost of living in the region is even more difficult when there are critical repairs needed in their homes.

Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP) services these homeowners in San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County who are least able to address such repairs and are experiencing unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions.

Our work repairing homes, revitalizing communities, and rebuilding lives – offered at no cost  – has direct and positive impacts, including preserving affordable home ownership, allowing seniors to age-in-place safely, maintaining a diverse community, offering a renewed sense of hope and dignity, and more.

See below for stories of our work and the rewarding effects our service has provided for our community neighbors.

Repairing Homes

  • For Gina, owning a home had become financially stressful as she found it increasingly difficult to afford mortgage payments while addressing regular maintenance amidst reduced earnings. A loan modification program helped her retain ownership but didn’t adequately solve needed, and accumulating, repairs. When RTP was called, her roof was leaking and mold had taken hold in several rooms. In addition to repairing the roof and damaged walls and ceilings, RTP replaced flooring, rehabilitated the bathroom, and installed a new garage door – giving Gina the peace of mind that remaining in her home was now much more possible as her finances didn’t need to cover such urgent safety repairs. Gina’s son explains, “I think (the repairs) provide a sense of security…there was this huge anxiety. It feels good to come home and not worry”.

  • Rosie had been proud of her home in Mountain View, in which she’s lived since 1996. But now as a retiree with only Social Security income, she has been unable to address much beyond basic necessities such as food and utilities. As a result, her home’s condition as a safe and healthy one worsened. Under RTP’s service, a new bathtub with safety grab bars was installed, window trim was replaced, along with additional shower, lighting, and ventilation modifications. “I feel safer getting in and out of the tub. I know that there is help out there, which I didn’t know before,” Rosie says. RTP also rectified other potential dangers: modifying the roof to prevent rain run-off pooling onto her porch, grounding multiple electrical outlets, and ensuring working fire extinguishers and smoke & carbon monoxide detectors were present.

  • Roberto and Maria’s home was in dire straits: a broken toilet, a broken staircase, and no running water in the kitchen, amongst many other issues. Seniors on a very low fixed income, and faced with Roberto’s physical disabilities that limited mobility, the couple contacted RTP for assistance. Thanks to the generosity of our long-time partner Nibbi Bros. Construction, these Redwood City residents can now age-in-place safely. Says Roberto, “Everything about this project has improved our daily routines at home.” Read Roberto and Maria’s story here.

  • When Lidia’s brother passed away from illness, she took on custody of his elementary school-aged children. Already on a tight budget from her sole income as a music teacher, the added expense of raising two children meant she wasn’t able to adequately ensure a safe home for the expanded family. Eager to remain in her Redwood City home – “a piece of memory (she was) fighting to preserve” – Lidia reached out to RTP for help in ensuring her new charges can remain in, and keep, a safe home. Click here for her story.

Revitalizing Communities

  • Thanks to a group of volunteers led by the National Association of Women in Construction in partnership with RTP, the Millbrae Nursery School received a huge facelift. Multiple classrooms were renovated, the outdoor playground was refurbished, and a central pathway was resurfaced. “Seeing the positive impact of our efforts was extremely rewarding. Lead volunteer Angie remarked, “Through our work we not only improved physical spaces, but also built a sense of solidarity among families. This experience taught me the potential of community-driven initiatives to create lasting positive change. Read more about this project in our Winter 2024 Newsletter.

  • When Daly City’s General Pershing State Preschool director Lisa submitted an application for renovation assistance, she was frustrated not only by key storage needs, but also by the drab physical presence the school presented its immediate neighbors. Enter RTP and a group of volunteers to install new sheds, revitalize the school’s inner garden for the students, and, critically, create a new front-facing mural that brightened the neighborhood. Referencing neighbors’ positive feedback on the transformation, Lisa remarked, “I can’t stop crying at how happy I am”, adding as observation of the teamwork involved, “It’s amazing. It’s a real testament to what people can do when they put their minds to it”. Take a look at the school’s new face here.

Rebuilding Lives

  • With a strong humbleness, senior veteran Eddie was a reluctant applicant for RTP services, encouraged by his family to receive help installing a needed wheelchair ramp, and related home modifications. When volunteers came to help, his discomfort faded as he realized the impact our service would have on his day-to-day routine, especially his new access to the park facing his home. “You people made a difference. This is what I needed. I got freedom again.” Watch Eddie’s story as a star of our 2021 highlight video here.

  • Stan’s sense of community and family has seen him provide shelter to those close to him. Unfortunately, this had impacted the cleanliness and overall safety within his home – and as a senior of fixed income, the environment’s deterioration only accelerated. After RTP decluttered his garage, rebuilt his fence, and gave his home a new coat of paint, Stan acknowledged, “RTP has been a tremendous blessing. The organization restores dignity and peace of mind by helping the community, especially the elderly who have come on hard times and have trouble maintaining their property”. Read about how our partnership with Lowe’s assisted Stan in his time of need here.

To learn more about the impact RTP has on the community, visit our Community Impact page.

“It’s so beautiful and Teresita is so happy and truly appreciates everyone for all their hard work.”

– Sarah, Teresita’s granddaughter

When homeowner Teresita’s front staircase into her Daly City home was deteriorating, her family reached out to RTP for help. As a senior with limited mobility living on her own, having a secure and safe entrance was crucial to her having a healthy home. After more than 150 hours of work by our staff techs and skilled volunteers, Teresita can now age-in-place more safely.

RTP and Lowe’s Partner to Support Daly City Homeowners

Take a look at a KTVU FOX 2 report on how RTP helped a homeowner-in-need to live more safely and comfortably in her home in this special highlight from fall 2022.

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