DS News

DS News December 2020

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 61 of 100

60 Feature By: David Wharton Dallas homeowner and military veteran Tommie Lee Morgan needed a new roof. One morning in October 2019, nearly two- dozen volunteers descended upon his home. By the time the team packed up the last of their equipment and wished Mr. Morgan well, they had replaced his roof, front and back doors, and completed numerous small repairs throughout his home—they even repainted several rooms and fixed a leaky toilet. "ey went above and beyond," Morgan said. All of this came courtesy of Rebuilding Together North Texas, the metroplex's branch of a national nonprofit with four decades worth of similar charitable projects under its belt. e repairs made a world of difference for Morgan, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who served in Vietnam. But for Rebuilding Together North Texas, it was just another day on the job. e organization's website describes its mission as "working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities with free home and facility repairs." e North Texas chapter has pursued this mission since 2001, in that time having "made critical safety and accessibility improvements to more than 500 homes." A heating and air conditioning contractor by trade, Jim Kuhs became involved with the organization in 2011, after being contacted by Bob Moisan, the founder of the North Texas chapter of Rebuilding Together. Moisan invited Kuhs to help tackle a project for an elderly woman who needed heating and air conditioning installed in her home, which at the time only had window units. Having enjoyed the project, Kuhs continued working with the group, and today he serves as Rebuilding Together North Texas' President of the Board of Directors. And as for the woman he helped back in 2011? "I still get Christmas cards from her to this day," Kuhs said. ere's no question that Rebuilding Together tackles worthy causes. But what happens to that worthy cause—one supported in part by volunteers willing to put in the hard work—when the unexpected arrives in the form of a global pandemic health crisis that drags on for (as of this writing) approaching a year? DS News spoke with the Rebuilding Together North Texas team to learn how they've navigated the challenges this year presented and how they plan to carry on into whatever 2021 brings to bear. TARGETING THE NECESSARY Rebuilding Together—both the North Texas group profiled here and the larger organization—provides "critical home repair for low-income homeowners." e Dallas/ Fort Worth branch serves five counties: Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, Collin, and Rockwall counties. at "critical" aspect is an important guidepost when it's time for the Rebuilding Together team to prioritize projects to tackle within a given home. As Executive Director Garett Jones told DS News, "We don't want SHORING UP THE AMERICAN DREAM Rebuilding Together North Texas works with industry volunteers to provide critical repairs and updates for homeowners in need. Here's how their mission adjusted to the challenges presented by a pandemic.

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