FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Rock the Block making some good noise in Appleton

Positively Wisconsin

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) Volunteers for a nonprofit based in Menasha are out making some noise in an Appleton neighborhood near that city’s downtown. But as Kris Schuller tells us, when Habitat for Humanity comes to rock the block – it’s a very good thing.

At a home off of North State Street, volunteers hard at work, painting Michaelene Luedke’s porch, much in need of a fresh coat.

“With the hard times everybody is dealing with nowadays, just a little help goes a long way,” said Luedke.

From clearing away brush to fixing a broken fence, these home improvement projects are all part of the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity Rock the Block event, running September 10 through the 12th. The goal is to revitalize neighborhoods by improving the housing stock.

“We’re going to be doing 26 projects, 21 of those are residential, so we’re working on homes,” said Rock the Block Outreach Coordinator Sarah Wylie.

“It’s almost all exterior work, so that when you drive down the street and look at the neighborhood – it looks better because it is better,” said volunteer Fred Ebbesen.

The first Rock the Block event was held back in 2015 and since that time some 450 home improvement projects have been completed by volunteers.

“It is sort of like locusts on a millet field. We come swarm in, get all the work done and move on to the next project,” Ebbesen said.

Wylie says the work isn’t done for free. Homeowners have to apply and if chosen, need to make a payment upfront

“We base it on income and homeownership, because we want to know we’re investing in the homeowners already here,” Wylie said.

Habitat is investing $400,000 in the Appleton area – money to provide critical home repairs for people just like Luedke, who is so grateful for the help.

“It’s amazing. They take their time out to help people that are in need . You can’t get any better than that,” Luedke said.

Habitat worked with city officials in Appleton to identify the neighborhoods where projects are being done.

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