Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to pre-register? Yes! We plan work scopes, job assignments, t-shirt and food quantities based on volunteers that have pre-registered for an event. We may not be able to accommodate walk-up volunteers on a Rebuilding Day. You can find our volunteer application here (we'll contact you directly to confirm registration for an event).
Do I need home repair skills? No! We have house captains and skilled leaders to guide you through your assigned tasks. We also need help with hospitality (the care and feeding of our volunteers), photography, and materials management. Runners drive to the nearest hardware store for last minute materials needs, manage our supply truck, including loading and unloading at the warehouse, and help get needed materials to houses.
If you do have home repair skills, be sure to let us know on the volunteer application in the skills assessment section.
How should I dress? Always wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, for safety. Then, dress for the weather. Our Rebuilding Days are rain or shine (occasionally snow or shine). On sunny days, remember a hat and sunscreen. When the weather is not cooperating, we try our best to get all of our volunteers working indoors. We recommend layers, and please wear clothes you are willing to get dirty – if you are not willing to get paint on it, don’t wear it! We'll give you a t-shirt when you check in, and ask you to wear it (which makes our photos look nice).
What should I bring? We have all of the tools, safety equipment and supplies you’ll need to complete whatever job we assign to you. If you are especially attached to your own work gloves or tools, you may bring them, but please be sure they are labeled with your name.
What’s for lunch? We typically have coffee and granola bars in the morning, then break for lunch around noon. We try to let volunteers know a few days prior to each Rebuilding Day what we’re planning for lunch. Typically, we serve sandwiches or pizza. If you have special dietary needs, or like to snack frequently, please bring your own snacks and/or lunch.
What about a drink? We always have water available for our volunteers. If you bring a refillable water bottle, it helps cut down on trash.
What will I be doing all day? We have jobs for all skill levels. Typical Rebuilding Day projects include: painting, cleaning, landscaping, floor installation, drywall, light electrical and plumbing repairs. Each project has a house captain, and a skilled leader that can guide you. Please take a few minutes to complete our skills assessment when you register online, so we can assign you to the right job.
Where can I park my car? We frequently close the block where we are working to traffic, for the safety of our volunteers and to help with the logistics of truck deliveries and dumpsters. However, we’ll be sure there is nearby street parking. We alert volunteers a few days prior to the Rebuilding Day about any specific driving/parking advice.
I have home repair skills. How can I make sure you don’t waste my talents? Complete the skills assessment when you register, and we’ll be better able to assign you to the right job.
What if I am more of a leader than a worker bee? Project management types make great house captains and super captains. Let us know if you are interested in being a leader.
What's the process for getting a group involved? When we plan a Block Build, we reach out to our Sponsors first to fill volunteer spots. When sponsors are not able to recruit enough volunteers, we open volunteer spots to individuals and small groups. Contact Esther Wiesner to see if we can accommodate your group at our next Block Build (firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-437-9555).
Frequently Asked Questions: Volunteer Edition
What is your Annual Budget? For the current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2018), our goal is to raise $1,372,460 to help 100 homeowners.
Can I do some research on GuideStar before making a gift to RTP? Of course! Here is a link to our GuideStar profile, including our Form 990 filings.
Are your most recent audited financial statements available?
You can read our audit for the year ended June 30, 2017 here.
What is RTP's EIN (Employer Identification Number)?
What are the sources of your funds?
How do you use your funds? In our independent audit for fiscal year 2018, RTP used 84% of our resources on our rebuilding projects, 8% on management and 8% on fundraising.
What is Rebuilding Together Philadelphia? We provide free home repairs for qualified Philadelphia homeowners, with a focus on health, safety and energy efficiency. Much of our work is done by volunteers during 3 annual Block Builds, events where home repair projects are clustered and complemented by exterior work and vacant lot clean-ups.
We are a local, independent affiliate of Rebuilding Together, Inc., the nation's leading nonprofit organization providing critical home repairs, modifications, and improvements for America's low-income homeowners.
How do I apply? RTP works with organized blocks that have at least 10 homeowners who all need repairs. Rebuilding Together Philadelphia does not accept applications for the repair of individual homes.
Who is eligible for help? To meet block applicant qualifications, you must have:
a block captain or organizer who will gather applications for your block
10 - 15 qualified applicants on your block in need of at least one of the following:
Plumbing and electrical repairs
Floor, wall, and ceiling repairs
Weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades
To qualify, each applicant on your block must:
live in a homeowner-occupied home and be able to provide proof of homeownership
meet income guidelines and be able to provide proof of income for all residents
be up-to-date or in a payment plan for real estate taxes
agree to be present on all work days
If your block is interested in applying, download our block application.
How will I know if my block is selected? A member of RTP's staff will call to let you know six to eight months in advance of our Block Build.
How do you decide what projects to complete in a home? We have a checklist of safe and healthy home priorities. Our staff works with selected homeowners to inspect homes and develop a work scope based on these priorities. A homeowner's priorities may be different, so we agree in writing on the work that we commit to completing.
Who pays for the repairs? Our sponsors and individual donors - not the homeowners!
I have a landlord. Can you help me? RTP only assists homeowners with health and safety repairs. Check our Resources page for other organizations that may be able to help.
The deed to my home is in another family member's name. Can you help me? RTP only assists homeowners who have their name on the deed. Please check our Resources page for help with getting the deed in your name.