“This all came as a huge surprise to me”
Said Gwendolyn Graves, astounded and extremely grateful when our team members informed her that we would be providing repairs to her home. Like many other homes in the Govans area, Mrs. Graves’ house shows signs of aging. After her husband passed, and she was laid off, she struggled to keep up with essential repairs and maintenance that will help her to age in place.
Mrs. Graves arrived in Baltimore at the young age of 19. She is now 65 years old. She left Durham, North Carolina after completing her first year of college to work a summer job here in Baltimore, but she never returned home. A temporary living arrangement quickly transitioned to a lifetime adjustment. In 1981, Mrs. Graves and her late husband purchased this home. In her thirty-five years of living in Mid-Govans, Mrs. Graves has observed a lot of changes. Overtime, transient neighbors and the decline in homeownership has weakened communication between people. In spite of this, Mrs. Graves’s outlook on the community remains optimistic:
“I like Baltimore. I’m very comfortable here. My sister wants me to move back to North Carolina and I’m like “hmmmm, maybe”.
When asked what has kept her in this neighborhood, Mrs. Graves expresses gratitude and disappointment, but most of all, she looks forward to change in the future. Her response follows:
“The bottom line is, my kids grew up here… It was also the ideal location. My children’s school was always a half a block away and the easy transportation down into the city, where I worked. ”
Mrs. Graves describes herself as the “DIY-lady”.
“I love to do DIY projects!”
She enjoys gardening, crafting, sewing, hiking, and cooking. Mrs. Graves loves to be active and “hands-on” with repairs around her home. On the volunteer project day, Mrs. Graves eagerly participated alongside a group of volunteers who worked in her home. After having a positive experience with the volunteers, Mrs. Graves expressed that she would love to volunteer with Rebuilding Together Baltimore on future projects in the community. She hopes that one of her two sons or maybe one of her six grandchildren will be able to inherit this home one day in good condition. Mrs. Graves truly believes that our service to her will absolutely help make that happen!
“I wasn’t expecting any of it, but I’m ready! I just wish my husband was here to witness this”.
This video profiles the three small businesses that received renovations from RTB. Many thanks to our partners at Wells Fargo, Gensler, and the Urban League for making this such a great experience!