by Mary Rupert
The sound of hammering and chain saws filled the air this morning in a neighborhood near I-70 and South 18th Street in Kansas City, Kansas.
As part of the annual “Rock the Block” effort, about 250 volunteers from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors joined with Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City volunteers to fix up about 16 homes in a neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas.
Roads were closed off so volunteers could work in the neighborhood, near Lowell Avenue and South 17th Street, not far from the Prescott Plaza.
Some of the volunteers were at a home at 39 S. 16th St.
Karla Valle, a Realtor, was pushing a wheelbarrow in front of a home.
“The inner city really needs all the help we can give it, and we want to be by their side,” she said. “This is the city that needs it the most. We want them to be happy with the results. Some people can’t do it for themselves.”
According to Dena Odom, a Realtor who served as a “house ambassador” in this volunteer effort, the homeowner decides what improvements they want the volunteers to work on. The homeowners filled out applications listing what needed to be done.
“I think it’s good for the neighborhood because you don’t really see a lot of people come in and help,” said Jenne Macias, who lives at 39 S. 16th St.
Volunteers pulled down an overgrown tree limb, and had several other tasks they were working on in her backyard.
Next door, to the north, volunteers were painting the exterior of the home.
Some of the nearby improvements included removing small unwanted structures in the yard, yard work, landscaping, lot clean up, and exterior home repairs to the windows, doors, porches and railings.
This is the fourth year for the Rock the Block program, and the first year it was in Wyandotte County.
According to a spokesman for the event, Rock the Block wants to generate lasting transformation for the neighborhood, including higher house values and an increase of neighborhood pride and self-esteem among residents.
Story and photos copyright 2019 by Mary Rupert