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News

Frank and Jordan talk about Rebuilding Together Muscatine County

January 16, 2019

Frank was able to join Jordan this week on the program “Moving Forward” at the local radio station, the Voice of Muscatine.

“Moving Forward” is a daily program that highlights the happenings of area non-profits.

Frank joins Jordan to talk about Rebuilding Together Muscatine County, Inc. Listen in to find out how you can help!

Moving Forward is brought to you by Muscatine Power & Water

Click the link below Frank’s photo to listen in.

https://bit.ly/2TTdNJe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebuilding Together Muscatine Co. to tackle whole home project

January 10, 2019

rebuilding together muscatine co. home

Rebuilding Together Muscatine Co. to tackle whole home project

MUSCATINE — Frank Iliff really cares about the Muscatine community, and he enjoys proving it.

“I’ve rebuilt it in my mind probably a hundred times,” he said of the property at 614 Mulberry Ave. Rebuilding Together Muscatine County will officially purchase Tuesday from the City of Muscatine. Iliff serves as executive director of the nonprofit and he, along with a crew of volunteers, has plans to convert the former Safe Starts office to a single-family home by mid-to-late summer.

Rebuilding Together is a national organization that aims to provide affordable housing for low-income homeowners. It also focuses efforts on rehabbing existing homes to revitalize neighborhoods and allow older homeowners to live at home longer. The group has worked on many projects over the years — about 100 throughout the county — but this is the first home it will take on.

“Let’s see how this one turns out,” Iliff said.

Turning the 740-square foot former office into a two-bedroom home is no small task. Shelving will be removed, a shower and kitchen sink will be installed and appliances including a refrigerator and stove will be brought in. Volunteers will complete much of the work inside and Iliff said electrical and HVAC system work will have to be contracted.

He’s hoping to keep the total cost in the low $20,000s, he said, but because this is the first time the group will tackle a whole home remodel, it may cost more.

“Projects always have surprises,” he said. “I don’t care for them. Surprises always cost more money.”

According to city documents, the building has been vacant since the end of 2017. The city put out a request for a proposal for the property this past summer, but received no responses. A purchase agreement was then negotiated between the nonprofit and the city for $250, with city council approving the purchase at its last session.

“It will be a nice little airtight house for somebody,” Iliff said.

After his experience helping build a porch for an elderly resident in need through a community relations committee at Monsanto, Iliff started the local Rebuilding Together chapter in 2007. He and about 14 other employees tore off the existing structure and built a new one. Iliff said the man was brought to tears by the act. “He said, ‘Frank, no one’s ever done this for me.’” The man had done many things to help the community, he said, and now “it was his turn” to be helped.

And since then, the organization has completed projects to make homes safer, especially for elderly residents. Major employers Musco Lighting and Kent Corp. have also partnered with the group on past projects. Work includes building ramps, repairing or constructing porches, installing windows, and electrical and HVAC fixes.

“It’s just so rewarding,” Iliff said.

In the past, he said he’s requested grant funding from any resources he could find and has received money for the work from Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, Muscatine Charities, Inc. and local churches. He said he’s looked “any and everywhere” for money to ensure the projects get done.

“I haven’t stood downtown with my hat in my hand,” he said, but considering the passion in his voice for the work he does, that might not be off the table.

With no formal training, Iliff has been building projects since he was eight years old. He said growing up, every time his family moved, he would be responsible for finding a place to make into a playhouse for his younger sister to “keep her out of mom’s kitchen.” He would clean up and convert old chicken or hog buildings where his sister could take toys make her own play kitchen. He said if his mother was missing a pan, they would always check the playhouse.

“I just like to build things,” he said. “I like to put things together.”

After retiring from Monsanto in December, Iliff is working for the nonprofit full time. Over the years, he has noticed how the outcomes of fixing up a home are more than the physical work. People build friendships, develop a deeper connection to their neighbors and neighborhoods, and inspire others to look at ways they too can benefit another or the community.

He said often times it can be too easy to drive through town, see a yard that needs mowed, a house that needs painting or a roof that needs some shingles replaced and not give it a second thought. Sometimes, the people residing there may need the help, but may not know how to get it.

“If you don’t do it, who will,” he said. And that attitude is also revealed in the organizations motto, “It just needs done.”

“If that house gets fixed up,” he said, “it not only helps raise the value of the home, but also of the community.”

Helping those in need and showing consideration for the community also prevents drug use and crime from creeping into neighborhoods, he said.

“In a cleaned up community, you’re not going to have meth,” he said. People wanting to use drugs “go to places where nobody is watching because nobody cares.”

“Everybody just needs to do a little bit,” he said, “and everybody can do something. It’s neighbor helping neighbor.”

 

 

https://muscatinejournal.com/muscatine/news/local/rebuilding-together-muscatine-co-to-tackle-whole-home-project/article_33af7c34-9654-57fc-8fa2-909fcacac94d.html?fbclid=IwAR0ecH4PVgCmM1vMD_hIzOhzYZ6eqZ6AFzdyAhm_1PnS9Y803f5xbqYhato#tracking-source=home-the-latest

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County Board Members Donate to Two Weeks of Love

November 30, 2018

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County Executive Director
Frank Iliff had the privilege of dropping off 34 bags of food to the TanTara Transportation Corp. Hawkeye Hauler located at Hy-Vee this week as part of the annual Two Weeks of Love, raising money, food, and awareness for The Salvation Army Muscatine.
Members of the RTMC board donated funds to show support for another nonprofit in our community.
Serving those in need runs deeply within the Rebuilding Together philosophy, even if it comes in the form of canned goods instead of shingles and ramps.
Merry Christmas to all of our friends, volunteers, supporters, and clients.
We can’t do what we do without you, and we are grateful.

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Baby It’s Cold Outside!

November 15, 2018

Just because it’s cold outside, it does not mean that the work is has stopped!

There is much going on behind the scenes.

We are making contacts.

We are looking for next years projects, and taking care of emergencies as they arise.

We are also looking for some very specific people. Here is the list;

  • Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is looking to add some new members for our board.
  • Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is looking for people interested in learning how to build our ramps. We will have a workshop  for those who would love to be involved in a “Hands on” sort of way.
  • Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is looking for suitable volunteers to assist our House Captains. This would involve “learning the ropes” to become future House Captains.

If you are interested in any of these things, please contact Frank at 563.260.3143.

National Rebuilding Together Day

April 15, 2018

National Rebuilding Together Day
April 28, 2018

Muscatine County

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County joins 142 national affiliates as they bring volunteers and communities together to improve
the homes and lives of homeowners in need.

Some smaller inside jobs
Ramp Section building. (Pre-28th – Call if interested – 563.260.3145)
Assemble wheelchair ramps on site.
Spring yard cleanup.

Volunteers are to meet at 1424B Houser Street at 7:00 AM for registration and project assignment

Because “It just needs done.

 

Rebuilding Together Muscatine is Seeking Ramp Builders

May 25, 2017

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is seeking volunteers who would like to learn our way of building ramps.

Ramps are one of our main requests, and make a drastic difference in the lives of our clients.

Rebuilding Together builds them specifically up to code using a special ramping system.

If you are interested in learning how to do this, please contact Frank at 563.260.3143 or Deb at 563.260.3145.

When enough volunteers inquire, we will choose a date to begin the learning.

It is fast. It is fun. It is vitally important.

Thank You Muscatine!

May 18, 2017

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County would like to thank all volunteered their help on this years National Rebuilding Together Day.

The amount of work that was finished before the rain set in was truly amazing!

Our volunteers are truly the finest.