GREENSBORO, N.C. — April 15, 2018, was a day few people in East Greensboro will ever forget.
That was the day a tornado devastated the area and caused millions of dollars in damages.
“There was a tremendous need before the tornado and that need is only exacerbated by the number of houses that were affected and destroyed,” said David Kolosieke of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro.
The organization was one of many that got right to work in the days following the disaster.
“There were over 60 families that received the benefit of the generosity in terms of the repairs and putting their houses back in good safe working order,” Kolosieke said.
The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro played a big part in that– contributing a $65,000 grant which allowed Habitat to renovate 14 homes.
”To help the neighborhood rebuild and to revitalize by returning these homes to full use and allowing the homeowners back in their homes as quickly as possible, that helps stabilize the neighborhood,” said Kolosieke.
And today — two years later — that work continues with nearly 6,000 volunteers and 30 staff.
Together with homeowners, they build, renovate and repair between 30 and 35 homes each year.
“They do take a pride ownership and knowing that they are making a significant contribution to better the lives of their neighbors here in the community,” Kolosieke said.
COVID-19 has brought plenty of challenges but it’s also proven just how important their work is.
“Housing is one of the critical pieces,” Kolosieke said. “If you don’t have a place to shelter in home, if there isn’t a safe, secure place to be, it impacts the entire family and particularly the children and their opportunities to grow and to thrive.”
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro has been in the area for more than 32 years and has provided over 500 new homes for families.