For thirty years, Rebuilding Together San Antonio volunteers have helped their neighbors complete home repairs and projects for free. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the nonprofit is expanding to nearby affected towns. It is turning to San Antonio storage units at Public Storage to keep all its supplies on hand between builds.
“Our organization’s mission is to help elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners with minor home repairs,” said Kent Gerstner, the executive director of Rebuilding Together San Antonio. “Following Hurricane Harvey, we committed five years to help with residential and small business repairs in the small towns outside of San Antonio.”
When the organization’s workload increased, so did its stockpile of construction materials. Read on to hear how this nonprofit strives to serve its neighbors in need, and how Public Storage in San Antonio makes storing supplies an easy task for the busy nonprofit.
Volunteers Build Up San Antonio Communities
Rebuilding Together is a nationwide nonprofit with chapters in many major cities, including San Antonio in the state where it all started in the 1970s.
“A group of people in Midland started doing repairs over a weekend for folks in need, and the idea caught on in other small towns in Texas,” said Gerstner. “Eventually, it expanded outside of Texas and that’s when Rebuilding Together was born.”
Today, the organization’s volunteers can do anything from repairing roofs to replacing appliances or improving accessibility, such as the project pictured above and below.
“We build a lot of wheelchair ramps, add grab bars in bathrooms, fix leaky faucets and chalk windows,” said Gerstner. “There’s not much we haven’t done. We even tore down and rebuilt a house, at a certain point.”
Volunteers work year-round to help neighbors who cannot afford home repairs or those who cannot physically to do the work. Since San Antonio has many military residents, the city’s Rebuilding Together chapter prides itself on helping veterans.
“We’re Military City USA,” Gerstner added.
Nonprofit Chooses San Antonio Storage Units at Public Storage
Rebuilding Together San Antonio rented its first of two San Antonio storage units in 2016 before it added the second a year later. It needed more storage space for building materials needed to repair major hurricane damage in nearby coastal cities like Rockport, Texas.
“Where Hurricane Harvey made landfall, it wiped some of those cities off the map – they’re just not there anymore,” said Gerstner. “It’s very surreal and humbling.”
When the organization received a large donation of construction supplies, Gerstner said it was a no-brainer to get another storage unit at the same San Antonio Public Storage location. He said he chose the property because it’s convenient location and the top-notch employees.
“He is one of my favorite customers,” said Hilda Gonzales, a Public Storage property manager. “Every time he comes in, which is typically every day, we have a 20-minute conversation.”
Rebuilding Together San Antonio volunteers have a lot of work ahead of them, as they continue to complete small projects around the city and help with construction in hurricane-damaged southern cities. Thankfully, Public Storage has plenty of San Antonio storage units to support Rebuilding Together’s efforts.
“We’re doing our best to help bring these communities back,” said Gerstner. “It’s the right thing to do.”
To contribute to the nonprofit’s efforts in south Texas, visit the Rebuilding Together San Antonio donation page.
Photos courtesy of Kent Gerstner.