Our Work

2016

2016 was a great year for RTK. We helped eight more homeowners stay in their homes this year.
Their stories and pictures are here to enjoy.

 

September 2016

Jessica Callahan

 

Rebuilding Together Knoxville, Scripps Networks Interactive volunteers, local contractors, and our generous donors built a much-needed access ramp and an art therapy studio for Jessica Callihan, a disabled Navy veteran.

Injured in a serious fall in 2008 when she was in the Navy, Jessica has endured 10 surgeries on her back, shoulder and knee. Complications from these surgeries caused permanent nerve damage in her lower extremities. She has a neurotransmitter implanted in her spine, and suffers from chronic regional pain syndrome. Daily tasks like going from one floor of her home to another or simply getting to her front door became painful challenges for her.

“When I look at stairs, I want to cry. I hate stairs because it hurts so bad to climb them,” Callihan said.

While she was confined to a wheelchair after one of her later surgeries, Jessica’s husband, who is also a wounded veteran, suggested she take up a hobby. She started painting and developed a passion for art which has helped her greatly in managing her pain. An accomplished artist when RTK met her in 2015, Jessica had a small art studio in a corner of her basement.

Jessica was in serious need of a ramp to get in and out of her home safely and a more easily accessible space in which to create her art. Thanks to everyone who supported RTK in 2016, she now has both.

Chris Bieger, board president of Rebuilding Together Knoxville, said this project is the kind he especially loves. “We always have a soft place in our heart for veterans, and it’s great to see how the community has come together to help people who have served our country in the military.”

Callihan became a little emotional watching it all. “It’s overwhelming,” she said. “I’m so grateful for every person here. They can’t possibly know how much they are changing my life for the better.”

Special thanks to Scripps Networks Interactive which is the parent company of HGTV and DIY Network, for their generous sponsorship, donation, and their employee volunteers. Also, SmartBank and the Federal Home Loan Bank for providing the grant to build the wheelchair ramp for this project. Cook Brothers Construction, Hickory Construction, McCamy Construction, Messer Construction, Studio Four Design, Massey Electric Company, Engert Plumbing & Heating, Owens Metal Works & Roofing Supply, Kenny Pipe & Supply, Ferguson Enterprises, Cooper Drywall & Painting, Inc., Above All Roofing, Sherwin Williams, Sesco Lighting, Philips Lightolier and Sears Kenmore Brand generously contributed time and materials to make this project a reality.

Summer 2016

Clarence Foust

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK could assist Clarence Foust and his family with much needed home repairs. Clarence, who is physically unable to keep up with his older home’s repair needs, received all new windows, repairs to the window sills, repairs to a sagging subfloor and brand new gutters. All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

Michael Travelstead

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK could assist Michael Travelstead and his wife with much needed home repairs. Michael, who is wheelchair-bound is unable to make much needed repairs in his bathroom, which was falling apart due to water damage. Michael received a totally remodeled bathroom, with all new fixtures, shower, mirror, vanity and toilet. All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

Gary Pate

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK could assist Gary Pate and his family with much needed home repairs. Gary, who is wheelchair-bound is unable to make much needed repairs in his bathroom, which was riddled with mold and water damage. Michael received a totally remodeled bathroom, with all new fixtures, shower, mirror, vanity and toilet. All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

Tammy Rogers

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK could assist Tammy Rogers with much needed home repairs. Tammy, who is physically disabled bound is unable to make much needed repairs in her laundry room, which was so damaged by a water leak, her water heaters were close to falling through the floor. Tammy received a totally new subfloor and supports to keep the two brand new water heaters safe and secure. Other work included repairs in her bathroom and hallway. All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

Nora Cooper

 

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK could assist Nora Cooper with home repairs, involving wheelchair access to her entire home. In Nora’s older home, the doorways were too narrow to pass from room to room in her wheelchair. The door jams and moldings were removed years ago to help her move around better. Tammy, who is wheelchair-bound, also needed easier access to get in and out of her shower. Nora received new bathroom fixtures, a tub/shower combination and sheetrock repairs. The doorways were all redone to ensure her access to anywhere in her home. All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.


Veronica Chandler

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK could assist Veronica Chandler with home repairs, involving her kitchen, HVAC unit and living room floor. Veronica’s kitchen had no air vent for the stove, the linoleum floor was peeling and she had no heating or air conditioning. Veronica received new HVAC unit, a new kitchen floor, a new kitchen range hood with vent and also new flooring in her living room to match the kitchen. All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

Doris Perriman

RTK was able to assist Doris Perriman with a brand-new heater/air conditioner. All work was completed by McCamy Construction.

November 2015
Tracy Joslin

Joslin_Garage Joslin_Window1 Joslin_Window2

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK was able to assist Tracy Joslin with much needed home repairs. Tracy, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis spent half of every year shivering in the cold due to an abundance of windows that provided no insulation from outside temperatures. Her garage doors were broken and needed replacing as well.  All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

November 2015
Joe Branch

Branch_Shower Branch_Sink

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK was able to assist Joe Branch with much needed home repairs. Joe, a stroke survivor had major issues with his bathroom requiring a complete demolition and rebuild. All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

November 2015
Boyd Armstrong

Boyd_Fifth Third Boyd using ramp  IMG_0460

With the funding from Fifth Third Bank, RTK was able to help a veteran on Veteran’s Day. Boyd Armstrong, a 77-year-old Navy veteran lives at home with his disabled daughter Teresa. She has suffered from a debilitating brain tumor for many years and struggles to complete even the simplest of tasks. Boyd himself has suffered through several strokes and has had heart bypass surgery. Due to their low income and her medical needs their house had fallen into disrepair and upgrades were needed for them to remain healthy in their home as well as accommodating both of their disabilities.

RTK, in conjunction with Messer Construction and McCamy Construction, was able to build Boyd and his daughter a brand new wheelchair ramp from their front porch to their driveway and provide several floor repairs to the inside of the home. The exterior received a good scrubbing and the porch got a new railing for safety.

Fifth Third Bank provided the funding and volunteers for the project.

 

October 2015
Julia Deathridge

 Deathridge_Window Deathridge_Stairs

With Federal Home Loan Bank funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK was able to assist Julia Deathridge with much needed home repairs. Julia is stricken with Parkinson’s disease and is unable to go up and down her stairs. This required her to move her bedroom downstairs into the existing den. The den had a sliding glass door leading out into thin air, because of her deck falling down. In order for her homeowner’s insurance to stay current, the sliding glass door needed to be replaced with a window.

She also needed a set of steps rebuilt outside the rear of her garage. There were also repairs to her ceiling that had cracked due to a bathroom leak.

All repairs were completed by McCamy Construction.

 

September 2015
SEEED Organization

SEEED_Windows  SEEED_Shed SEEED_Front SEEED_Deck

Through the generosity of Scripps Networks Interactive, RTK was able to provide critical building repairs for the Morningside Heights Community Center and the SEEED organization in Knoxville, which is housed there. SEEED is a green community development non-profit focusing on creating and sustaining jobs for Knoxville’s urban young people, as well as ensuring clean energy technologies are available for low income residents.

Over 40 Scripps employees came out in force to volunteer that day. Repairs included new windows to replaced broken ones. 2 Kitchens were updated and remodeled. A very large HVAC unit, microwave and stove were donated and installed. The exterior was updated with landscaping and the front of the building received a new coat of paint. Three new toilets were donated and their computer area for local students to use was re-wired and brought up to code.

SEEED_Vanilla_Ice

The day was highlighted by a visit from DIY Network’s own Rob Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice and star of his own show, The Vanilla Ice Project.

Special thanks to Messer Construction, Tennessee Skyline Glass, Shoffner Kalthoff Mechanical Electrical Service and McCamy Construction.

 

April 2015
Payton Scoggins

 Hall_Scoggins

Through the Friends of Tennessee’s Babies with Special Needs, Rebuilding Together Knoxville found the year’s first family in need. Parents Teresa Scoggins and Kristi Hall have a beautiful little girl, Payton, who suffered from a hole in her heart at birth. Immediate surgery was required and Teresa and Kristi were warned of continuing medical issues throughout Payton’s life. The hospital care she required amounted to over 2-million dollars. Once Payton was able to come home, she required 24-hour care.

Needless to say, her care has put a strain on the family’s finances and their moderate home over the years fell into disrepair. A dishwasher leak ruined their kitchen floor.

Steps on the front and rear of the house needed to be replaced and constructed as half steps to make it easier for Payton to go up and down them.  Ceilings need patching. The back yard needed to be divided into one area for the family dogs and a separate area for Payton to play.

Thanks to Messer Construction and McCamy Construction, the project was handled without worry. The family received an entirely new backyard fence, with a separate area for pets. A new dishwasher was donated. A new kitchen floor was installed and all the ceiling cracks were repaired. Damaged hallway doors were replaced and new light fixtures were hung.

Special thanks goes out to Messer Construction and McCamy Construction.

 

November 2014
Cameron Lale Family
UntitledIMG_0464IMG_0460

With the funding from Fifth Third Bank, RTK was able to help a veteran on Veteran’s Day. Cameron Lale, currently serving in the Air Force, and his family had fallen on hard times due to his son, Jaxon contracting a rare form of leukemia. Focusing on medical bills for their son, Cameron and his wife Tiffany were unable to keep up with needed home repairs. RTK, in conjunction with Messer Construction, Cook Brothers Construction and Cherokee Millwright, was able to replace the Lale’s roof, give them a new HVAC system, interior modifications and exterior landscaping. Fifth Third Bank provided the volunteers for the project.

September 2014
Robert Bogus

IMG_9594IMG_9570

Through the generosity of Scripps Networks Interactive, RTK was able to provide critical home repairs and accessibility modifications for Robert and Hilary Bogus. Robert is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, serving in both the Army and Marines. He and his wife Hilary have two daughters, a toddler son, and two big loveable dogs.

Robert suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, both resulting from IED attacks while he was inside of a HMV. Because he also has knee and back injuries, he limits his use of the stairs by sleeping in a bedroom on the lower level. Unfortunately, he has to climb the stairs to use the lavatory. To facilitate his mobility, Rebuilding Together Knoxville arranged for local contractors to build a bathroom on the lower level. Volunteers from Scripps refurbished their deck and backyard, turning it into a calm, beautiful oasis so Robert and his family can relax.

This project also helped us celebrate the annual convention of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society held in Knoxville that week. Two Medal of Honor recipients visited with the Bogus family on build day.

Special thanks to Messer Construction, Witt Lumber and Schoffner Kalthoff

 

August/September 2014
Elijah James

IMG_0416

On August 26th 2014, Rebuilding Together Knoxville announced a collaborative effort among multiple construction companies to provide handicap accessibility for the home of 3-year-old Elijah James and his family.  Elijah has rachischisis, the most severe form of a congenital disorder known as spina bifida. His family and friends have become ambassadors for him and his medical condition, using social media to raise awareness about the disease. Through their efforts, friends of the James family and neighbors from across East Tennessee contributed to the purchase of a highly specialized power wheelchair that allows Elijah to move throughout his home.  Once the money for the chair was raised, the family knew they needed to invest in improvements and upgrades to their house to make it handicap-accessible.

The renovation will transform two small bedrooms into an accessible bedroom and bathroom on the main floor and will add an additional bedroom and bathroom in the basement for Elijah’s older sister. A wheelchair accessible ramp will be constructed from the driveway to the main floor.  The total cost of the project is approximately $30,000. Upgrades and changes to the James home will be done free of charge to the family.  Participating construction and design companies are donating all materials and labor. Multiple construction and design companies are participating in the effort and include:

  • Messer Construction
  • McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects & Interior Design
  • Massey Electric Company
  • Cherokee Millwright & Mechanical, Inc.
  • E. Luke Greene Company, Inc.
  • Bonitz Flooring Group, Inc.
  • Cook Bros. Construction
  • S&ME
  • Harrison Construction Company
  • Finish Point Trim and Millwork
  • MHJ Quality Cleaning Services

In addition, Corporate Quarters will provide support and assistance to the family during the demolition and construction period, which is expected to last two weeks.

Check out the news coverage:
WATE: Channel 6 (YouTube)
WATE: web story

WVLT: Channel 8 (YouTube)
WVLT: web story

Knoxville News-Sentinel

 

August 2014
Mrs. Lee

Lee-HVAC1
We were contacted by CAC again about another client of theirs who was without a working HVAC system. With the help of Cherokee Millwright & Mechanical, we were able to give Mrs. Lee a new HVAC system and replace all the existing duct work underneath her home which had deteriorated.

 

July 2014
Mrs. Buckner

Buckner_HVAC
We were contacted by CAC about a client of theirs who was without a working HVAC system. With the help of Cherokee Millwright, we were able to give Mrs. Buckner a new HVAC system and repair the existing duct work underneath her home.

 

April 2014
Mrs. Weaver

Weaver_Painting
Mrs. Weaver who suffers from cerebral palsy needed some minor repairs to her home so she can continue to receive financial assistance from the state.   The family has made some repairs, but they need help from RTK to finish up the work. We helped trim away brush, shrubs and trees away from the home and power lines, replaced the subfloor in her bathroom and layed down new flooring, re-painted the exterior of her home and various smaller touchup projects.

 

November 2013
Robert Hubbard

Robert Hubbard's HomeRobert Hubbard's Home

With the funding from Fifth Third Bank, RTK was able to help a veteran on Veteran’s Day. Robert Hubbard suffers from dementia, vision problems and a heart condition and the condition of his home had deteriorated beyond his ability to repair it. RTK installed a new HVAC system, repaired his rotted kitchen cabinets and flooring. Local Fifth Third Bank employees came out in force to be our volunteers for the day.

 

August 2013
The Meadows Family

The Meadows Family HomeThe Meadows Family Home

Ron and Darlene Meadows’ daughter, Laura, is bed-ridden and needs to be transported by ambulance everywhere she goes.

The Meadows Family HomeThe Meadows Family Home

With the funding from SmartBank here in Knoxville, RTK built a ramp for Laura that allows ambulance personnel to safely get her in and out of the house, as well as enables her to sit outside as her medical condition improves.

 

April 2013
Marilyn Sobota

Marilyn Sobota's Home

Due to an automobile accident that left Marilyn legally blind and unable to work, she could not keep up with much needed home repairs. Her house was in such disrepair, her insurance company threatened to cancel her homeowners policy.

Marilyn Sobota's Home

RTK repaired holes in her roof, covered her entire house with vinyl siding, installed new windows and remodeled her bedroom.

 

April 2013
Mr. Westenberg

Pat Westenberg's Home

Stricken with bone cancer and in a wheelchair, Pat needed help getting in and out of his house.

Pat Westenberg's Home

With the addition of this ramp, Pat has a safe way in and out of his house which was needed to utilize transportation services to go to medical appointments.