Rebuilding Together Builds Relationships with Hmong Community to Keep Families Safe in their Homes

Rebuilding Together Twin Cities has made significant progress towards meeting our goal of reaching out to the Hmong community in culturally-sensitive ways to help them live in safe and healthy homes.  We established a formal partnership with the East Side Neighborhood Development Corporation (ESNDC), who plans to substantially renovate 55 homes in their service area and shares our goals of reaching out to the Hmong community.  ESNDC is currently our primary partner, but we are continuing to look for additional partners and we anticipate this will be an ongoing process.

Together with ESNDC, we translated some of the materials we use for our Safe at Home program into Hmong, including the list of tasks covered through this program and the application cover sheet.  Our Safe at Home program provides home safety and accessibility modifications for low-income homeowners who are older adults or are living with a disability.  We are exploring additional ways in which to educate potential clients about the services that are offered by Rebuilding Together.

At the start of this partnership, Rebuilding Together provided a brief training and educational materials to the staff at ESNDC to help them understand the services we offer and what to look for in a potential client and their home. In just over three months, Rebuilding Together has received 14 quality applications from ESNDC.

To date, we have completed one project through this partnership and we are on track to complete two additional projects and the case study before the end of the grant period.  Based on the number of applications we have received, we know the need for our services is great.  Meeting this need will require that we train additional volunteers and translators to accompany them.  It will also require that we remain flexible and focused on the tasks covered through this specific program.  We have discovered that once a homeowner allows us into their home, they often want us to do more than what is covered through the Safe at Home program, such as addressing deferred maintenance issues, because they have no one else to help them.  We have also discovered that a lot of outreach is required in order to get a homeowner to actually apply for services.  These insights will enable us to fine-tune our outreach and program-delivery so we can better serve our clients.

This cooperative effort was featured at the Alliance Statewide Convening on October 1st during both the “Creating Healthy Homes for All” breakout session and the afternoon Network Weaving Workshop.

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