Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity recently held its 20th Rock the Block event in Chilton. Rock the Block brings together residents, municipalities and community partners to complete exterior home repairs for low-income homeowners as well as community-based projects. These improvements help beautify neighborhoods, increase property values and neighborhood safety, and have a ripple effect on all homes in targeted neighborhoods.
The Chilton Rock the Block was supported by a $300,000 matching challenge grant from Empowering Rural Communities, a fund within the Chilton Area Community Foundation (CACF). Many local businesses and residents stepped up to the challenge by contributing grants of their own, including many from funds within the CACF.
A group of 132 volunteers worked almost 1,000 hours to complete 29 community projects at Morrissey, Leahy-Lions, and Klinkner parks and the Chilton Public Library. Five residential projects were also completed. This Rock the Block was exceptionally special as Habitat is building a home in Chilton this year.
Although Rock the Block was held for only two days, the event’s impact lives on much longer. We will continue to partner with homeowners in Chilton over the next few months to address larger projects and are grateful for all who support our efforts to ensure everyone has access to a safe and affordable place to call home. Our work in Chilton is far from done.
A home for Hailey
Meet Paula and Hailey, soon-to-be homebuyers in Chilton. Hailey was born with several severe diagnoses that will affect her for the rest of her life. Rock the Block includes new home construction, which plays an important part in revitalizing the community. With the state of housing affordability, they struggled to find a home that was safe and accessible for Hailey. Because of Habitat and our supporters, Paula and Hailey have the opportunity to have a new, safe, and Hailey-friendly home that they can afford.
“I look forward to safety in the home, having enough outlets for all her medical machines, not tripping over cords, and having room for all of Hailey’s supplies. Home is a safe haven, where family comes together. A place where you can be yourself. My goal of being a homeowner is not for me, it is to give my daughter a safe place to call home,” Paula says.
The residential ripple effect
Kathy (mother) and Amy (daughter) own a home in Chilton and had a project they had been trying to complete for two years. Contractors would give them an estimate and not respond to follow-up calls. Amy heard about Rock the Block coming to Chilton and decided to apply. Upon finding out they had been accepted, Kathy and Amy were excited their project would be completed.
“We’ve run into so many people that are older and can’t afford to have anything done. To have an organization like this that would do this, I will be volunteering as long as I can,” Kathy says. “It’s wonderful and I just can’t say enough.”
A community project
One of Chilton’s Rock the Block’s major projects was renovating local parks. Volunteers repaired park benches, sealed fencing, updated landscaping and refreshed paint at Morrissey, Leahy-Lions and Klinkner parks.
“The parks are cherished by the community, however, there has been some neglect in the parks. Rock the Block has been beneficial to the city and will help them get back to where they belong,” says Chilton City Administrator David DeTroye. “We have a very good crew, but manpower is always low. When we can get volunteer help to refresh the park systems and make it viable to the public, it is so valuable to the community.”
Our next Rock the Block will take place in September at Doty Island in Neenah and Menasha. For more information on how you can support or get involved, visit foxcitieshabitat.org.
The Chilton Area Community Foundation is one of five geographic affiliates we partner with in the Fox Valley. Our other partners include Brillion Area Family of Funds, Clintonville Area Foundation, Shawano Area Community Foundation and Waupaca Area Community Foundation.