Alice Reed was one of the three Renton residents who had house repairs done by Rebuilding Together. (Leah Abraham | Renton Reporter)

Organization helps seniors prep homes for winter

Rebuilding Together Seattle helped repair three Renton residents’s homes in time for winter.

Alice Reed remembers when she first moved into her house on Smithers Avenue back when she was 8 years old. She remembers walking to Renton High School when she was a teenager, and she remembers when she left briefly after being married before coming back home in 1990.

“I grew up here,” Reed, now 72, said looking around her cluttered house fondly. “My kids say it’s not worth it.”

But the house holds sentimental value to her and she isn’t interested in parting ways. But an aging house means there are many repairs that are needed, including painting interior and exterior of the house, bathroom wiring, raising back porch and building a new fence in the back.

“The front of the house was very chipped,” she said. “You could see the wood underneath. It’s about three years since I’ve tried to get it done. And it was already winter time, and we haven’t gotten it done.”

That’s when Reed heard about Rebuilding Together Seattle.

Rebuilding Together Seattle is a nonprofit that provides free home repairs for low-income homeowners and nonprofit facilities. They serve the elderly, disabled, families with children, and veterans in need. Since 1989. They have restored 1,550 homes and nonprofit facilities in the greater Seattle area. The past fiscal year, they repaired homes for 175 families.

The organization mobilized almost 50 volunteers from Lowe’s on Dec. 1 to renovate and restore three Renton houses before the winter time, including Reed’s and Nita Olson’s.

Olson has been living in her home on Burnett Avenue South for 35 years. She lost her husband earlier in the summer. The Lowe’s team was able to repairs her ceiling, install a fence for security and secure kitchen wiring to help make her daily life comfortable, especially during the winter months.

“It feels good to be helping other people,” said one of the volunteers.

Reed, who lives with a roommate, is also glad to be living more comfortably in her renovated home. As the volunteers painted her kitchen and fixed her porch, Reed looked out of her window curiously. She stepped outside to see her new fence and porch, but ended up chatting and joking with the volunteers.

“It means a lot,” said Reed. “I can’t do that kind of stuff, and it makes the family happy.”

To apply for assistance through the Rebuilding Together program, download the application at or call 206-682-1231 to have an application sent by mail.

More in Life

It is a busy time in the garden with planting

Near the end of April the nurseries will be overflowing with color.… Continue reading

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch in Enumclaw

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading

RHS Students gear up for Bubblin Brown Sugar dance competition

The competition is April 27 at Garfield High School.

How to be a backyard micro farmer

Do you have a small space? Perhaps just a balcony or patio… Continue reading

Special police partners honored

King County Sheriff’s Office dedicates new memorial to honor K9 service dogs and handlers.

Renton Schools Foundation hosts annual breakfast fundraising event

The Renton Schools Foundation (RSF) is hosting its 10th Annual Fundraising Breakfast… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Rooftop dragon roars over Renton

New 25-foot iconic sculpture draws crowd downtown.

Renton Rotary selects Teachers of the Month for April

Silvia Flores, John Hoag and Kristen Murphy were selected as teachers of the month.

Photo of Renton native Matt House by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Brad Gee
Renton native propels submarine legacy into the future

By M. Dawn Scott Navy Office of Community Outreach As citizens of… Continue reading

Spring gardening provides inspiration

The end of March may roar like a lion or meet April… Continue reading

Matt Kidd. Submitted photo
True strength has no limits

Covington resident Matt Kidd shares his story about kidney disease to help others during National Kidney Month.

Spring color is on display

The fourth week of March is a time of explosive growth in… Continue reading