“I am so happy, I might just sleep on my couch tonight so I can leave the windows open and feel the breeze,” she said, beaming from her porch.
Wahls returned to reside in her family home on Waverly Street about 10 years ago. She said the windows have needed replacement for years - and would no longer open. When Wahls received mail about Life Remodeled and sent in an application, she didn’t know what – if anything – would happen.
“This is such a blessing,” she said. Wahls was just one of 13 homeowners who were chosen to receive new windows through Life Remodeled as part of its 2017 project in Detroit. More than 50 homeowners in the designated Central Detroit neighborhood were chosen effort through an application process in late 2016 to receive one free critical home repair.
“Life Remodeled’s Critical Home Repairs project has specific criteria that homeowners must meet to be selected - including living within the Life Remodeled project area, occupying the home, having a source of income and being current on taxes or in a tax payment plan program,” said Melissa Meadows, an administrator who oversees the program for Life Remodeled. “Recipients also must be willing to serve in their local community as a way of ‘paying it forward.’”
Adam Blanck, chief of staff of Wallside Windows, was on site with Wahls on July 21 when her installation began. Blanck admitted he’s been a big fan of Life Remodeled for years – and is proud Wallside has committed to working with the organization.
It’s no small feat, either. Like any window purchase, the process for Life Remodeled homes began in April when Wallside staff connected with homeowners to measure and plan for new windows. Those windows were built at Wallside’s Taylor-based factory and then installed by crews on Friday, July 21 during a day-long effort by expert installers and Wallside-donated materials.
“We’re so excited to be part of this Life Remodeled project in some small way, by coming out and providing windows, said Blanck. The production and installation of 70 new windows marked the start of a 2-year commitment Life Remodeled has made to the neighborhood.
From July 31 to Aug. 5, Life Remodeled officially kicks off its Project Week in Central Detroit. The goal is to remove blight and beautify more than 300 city blocks in the neighborhood where – 50 years ago – the Uprising of 1967 began.
More than 12,000 volunteers are expected to participate in activities that range from cutting overgrown brush, removing debris and painting. Volunteer positions through Life Remodeled are still available. Please visit http://liferemodeled.com/volunteer to sign up.
Rick Torri, home repair project manager with Life Remodeled, began volunteering with the organization 3 years ago. A retired architect he enjoys spending time he knows will make a difference in the city. “This is a huge transformation,” Torri said. “And it’s very compelling to see.”
Another part of this ongoing dedication to the Central Detroit neighborhood focuses on transforming a community asset. In the past new turf was added to Cody High School and Skinner Park was renovated at Denby Middle School.
For 2017 Life Remodeled has dedicated efforts for its first 2-year project and will renovate Durfee Elementary-Middle School into the Durfee Community Innovation Center. Its tenants will include: Southwest Solutions; Taormina’s Pizza; Detroit Sourced; Quality Design Services; Beyond Basics; Hip Hop Artist Nique Love Rhodes; Gingras Global; Build Institute and The Bling Factory and Pet Couture Style.
Area resident Denise Lyles serves as a block leader, helping to activate positive change in her neighborhood. She applauded the efforts of Wallside Windows and the many businesses already involved in Life Remodeled for their commitment to making a difference in Central Detroit.
“If I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t be here,” she said. Lyles sees the project as one that will make a lasting impact for her neighbors and the city.
To volunteer with Life Remodeled during their 2017 project, please visit http://liferemodeled.com/volunteer.
To learn more about Wallside Windows, please contact us at 1-800-521-7800 or visit wallsidewindows.com.