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Rock the Block volunteers make a huge impact in Kaukauna

Kaukauna Rock the Block team

The Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity recently held our 18th Rock the Block event, which was in Kaukauna Uptown West. Over 150 volunteers came together to revitalize the neighborhood through more than 20 different projects including residential homes, businesses, and community parks. In Kaukauna, nearly 36% of families qualify as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). Kaukauna has a median income of $62,800 with a survival budget for a family of four at $73,500. Over 25% of kids in the Kaukauna School District are economically disadvantaged. This explains the need for this program in so many neighborhoods like this.

Rock the Block brings together residents, municipalities, and community partners to complete exterior home repairs for low-income homeowners. These projects improve and beautify neighborhoods, increase property values, and have a ripple effect on all homes in targeted neighborhoods.

Repairs and community projects include roofing, siding, window and door replacement, porch repairs, exterior repairs and improvements, painting, landscaping, and more. The results of these improvements are extensive – homeowners find a renewed sense of pride in their homes, residential homes and neighborhood values are increased and homes are safer.

Check out this video of the impact this project has had on the Kaukauna community:

Rock the Block is made possible by the countless volunteers from the community, event sponsor staff, Fox Cities Habitat’s amazing Senior Crew, and homeowners pitching in on their home improvements. We could never accomplish these improvements without our generous sponsors and donors providing the needed funding to cover the costs associated with this program. A huge thank you to Rock the Block Kaukauna’s sponsors: Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Eli Lilly and Company, Community First Credit Union, Theda & Tamblin Clark Smith Family Foundation, David L. & Rita E. Nelson Family Fund, Bank of Kaukauna, Bergstrom Automotive, Miron Construction, Amcor Flexibles, Great Northern Corp, J.J. Keller Foundation, McMahon, The Boldt Company, Robert & Lynn Keller, Ahlstrom Munksjo, Bassett Mechanical, City of Kaukauna, Kaukauna Utilities, Fox Valley Tool & Die, Electric City Lanes, Les & Dar Stumpf Family Fund, Judy & Tom Verhagen Family Fund, Milton & Trudy Staskal, Country Gardens, Bob & Jan Fahrbach Family Fund, Charlie & Beverly Goff Fund, Seifert Family Fund, Milk Source, Sheet Metal Workers Local 18, Wichmann-Fargo Funeral Homes & Crematories.

There is a tremendous sense of pride when homeowners can be directly involved in their projects. Not only do they work side-by-side with volunteers when they are physically able to do so, but they can afford these projects by accepting a deferred 0% loan from Fox Cities Habitat.

According to a survey of our participants in this program, 87% of residents believe Rock the Block beautified their neighborhood; 76% of residents feel Rock the Block increased neighborhood pride; 55% of residents have seen improvements to their neighborhood since Rock the Block; and 73% of residents got to know their neighbors better, or even met them for the first time.

Angie Demers, Marketing & Volunteer Services Program Coordinator, Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity

The Rock the Block program also increases safety in neighborhoods. According to the City of Menasha Police Department 2016 Annual Neighborhood Statistical Reporting, there were 22% fewer police calls overall, 42% less reports of damage to property, 54% less ordinance complaints, down 58% with calls related to drug complaints, calls decreased by 75% related to domestic disturbance, and an 84% decrease in noise complaints. What a great outcome from a weekend of revitalization!

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