ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – It's been a busy year in the Keystone Neighborhood.
“We’ve had 75 volunteers working over 871 hours,” said Keystone Neighborhood Association President Phil Dennis.
They're rebuilding their community through a partnership with Rebuilding Together Quad Cities.
“Everything from porches to fire and smoke detectors to some interior electrical work,” Dennis said.
It is a great opportunity for people like Florencio Rocillo.
“Thank God they helped us out,” he said. “They did a great job.”
His family of seven had several projects that needed to be done.
“They put up some safety rails, they fixed the steps in the back, they rebuild the porch that we have in the front,” he said of the repairs made to his Rock Island home.
They are fixes Rocillo says he could not have done alone.
“Some of these things I couldn’t have done because you need a special permit to work on them and you need some kind of license, plus, more than anything, you need the knowledge to do it right,” Rocillo said.
He says it is a great gift for his family, but his neighbors benefit as well.
“It helped improved the whole neighborhood because one house at a time it makes the neighborhood better,” Rocillo said.
The Rocillo's are one of the first to be able to take advantage of this project. It's all possible thanks to a collaboration between the neighborhood association and a local organization.
“We have been working with Rebuilding Together Quad Cities targeting homes that need to be improved for safety and health reasons,” Dennis said.
This year they were funded to help repair four homes, but they're hopeful those homes, are just the beginning.
“If the funding from our granters continues we’re hoping to take the four and then turn it into 8 improved homes in our neighborhood,” Dennis said.
The city, the Rock Island Community Foundation and Rock Island Township all provided grant money to help fund the first year of this project. Three local churches also donated money.
Volunteers who helped with project improvements in the neighborhood came from Rebuilding Quad Cities, St. John's Lutheran, Augustana College and the Keystone Neighborhood Association.