Mr. and Ms. H came to RTWC through Washington County Disabilities, Aging, and Veterans Services (DAVS) agency.  Ms. H cannot shower by herself or get her self up or down.  Relying on a walker or cane and her husband, who has his own physical limitations, daily life can sometimes be a struggle. The H-es are a lively and optimistic couple, but they needed some help. They worked with DAVS to help with necessary care services.

Even with the support of the case workers at DAVS, the H-es home continued to created struggles. Mr. H was lifting his wife several times a day so she could take a shower and use the toilet, despite his own disabilities.  He has his own disabilities and taking care of Mrs. H was becoming more of a challenge every day.

IMG_0190“After about noon, her joints hurt and she relies more on the walker.By the end of the day, she’s exhausted and loses her balance easy.  I worry that she’ll fall and hurt herself even more. This would lead to more physical limitations, more doctors visits, and more medical bills.” ~ Mr. H

DAVS contacted RTWC. Staff and volunteers made a number of repairs and modifications, including installing grab bars in the bathroom and a new ramp in and out of the home.

Mrs. H was happy to talk saying, “I love your program.  It was beyond a perfect experience.” These small modifications meant so much to them, and they are so grateful for DAVS and RTWC working together to help them. This partnership kept them from moving into a permanent care facility. 


On April 30th, RTWC and Tualatin Rotary will be repairing siding and painting the home of Ms. H. Ms. H was first introduced to RTWC’s home repair program last July through her case manager at Washington County’s Disabilities, Aging, and Veterans Service Department. The case manager and Ms. H. had identified a number of repair needs they hoped RTWC could fix; the most immediate need was a safe walk from the front door to the sidewalk.

SidingMany of us take a safe entry in and out of our homes for granted but Ms. H falling on her way in and out of her home was a constant concern. She had fallen and hurt herself previously, and the stairs needed repaired and the distance from the stairs to the sidewalk was a tripping hazard. A simple fall for her could mean a broken back, neck, and wrist.  RTWC staff and volunteers immediately responded and replaced the front steps and placed pavers  to the sidewalk so she could walk steadily without the fear of falling.  Asking for help was a hard and humbling experience for Ms. H but she is glad she did. The new stairs and walkway and the bathroom grab bars gave Ms. H peace of mind.

Tualatin RotaryEven with all the work that RTWC staff and volunteers completed, they left knowing there was more to do. The biggest concern was the siding that had split enough that bugs, spiders, and mice were getting into her mobile home too freely. Thankfully, the Tualatin Rotary has stepped up and is contributing to the siding repair and paint project on Ms. H’s home. This is not work that Ms. H is able to complete on her own and she is so grateful for the support. She feels truly blessed by all the help and is glad people understand the need, not just for her, but throughout the community,

If you would like to help on projects like Ms. H’s, please sign up to volunteer on April 30th for our National Rebuilding Day. There is so much need, and you can make a major difference in the lives of these homeowners. 

Last April, we helped 15 Washington County families stay safe, warm, and independent in their homes on National Rebuilding Day.  The feedback from homeowners displayed tremendous gratitude for our hardworking volunteers who came out on a sunny Saturday to lend their help.

Here are a few of the homeowners in their own words expressing their thanks and the meaning of the work:

NRD photoMs. M. is an elderly homeowner who had her mobile home painted, her gutters cleaned, and had her hand rails repaired and tightened on both porches.   She shared, “I could have never done this work.  It put a new lease on my life.  It made me feel there are so many wonderful people out there.”NRD photo2

Another homeowner, Ms. P struggles to provide for her 3 children as she is unable to work.  RTWC volunteers made repairs to her stairs and replaced her floors. She shared, “It meant a great deal to me.  I am disabled and stairs are extremely difficult for me.  They lowered the height of the stairs put another railing in.  I don’t have to mentally prepare myself for each step I take.  Steps are much better.  The flooring and redone under the kitchen sink are wonderful.  No more soft spots or mold.  Much safer for me and my family.  Thank you so much!”

An elderly woman, Ms. M., struggles to take care of her adult son who is a veteran and has disabilities that prevent him from working.  Both she and her son are over the age of 60 and could not have their house painted without the help of many dedicated volunteers. NRD photo3She said, “My experience was overwhelming to know so many people could be so caring and willing to work so hard and make my house feel special.  To live in it is so beautiful [.] Thank you goes out to those who helped to make me so joyful and happy.  My best to you all, thank you!”

These are just a few of the many thanks we received from National Rebuilding Day.  We are excited for this year’s NRD next month on the last Saturday in April.  Join a team, start a new one, or call us to see how you can help out.  We are always looking for folks to help in many ways and our homeowners are incredibly thankful for anyway you can show your support.  To see how you can help, visit

Rebuilding Together Washington County (RTWC) is starting its year off the same way it has for the past 20 years, preparing for National Rebuilding Day. Over the years, we have helped keep hundreds of local families safe, warm, dry, and living in their own homes by providing free home repairs.

Our National Rebuilding Day work started with a gift from longtime supporter Pat Caughlan, a gift made in honor of Robert (Bob) Meinert. Bob has been a volunteer, advocate, donor, champion, board member and true friend to RTWC since our beginning.  Bob has been volunteering on National Rebuilding Day since we started in 1994. During the second year of volunteering, he invited Pat, and their friend Lee Fisher, to join him driving the van and delivering supplies for the different building projects. Pat started volunteering because of the respect and admiration he had for Bob; his tutor, best man, business partner, and lifelong friend. In his 20 years of supporting Rebuilding Together’s National Rebuilding Day, his perspective has changed and his commitment to the mission has grown.

Caughlan NRD 2014About five years ago, Pat invited a friend to join him on a project for the day. Volunteers were helping a family of 6 make repairs to their single-wide mobile home in Cornelius. The home was bursting at the seams in people, and was in need of so much work. On National Rebuilding Day, volunteers were able to make a number of repairs to the home, including: fixing the kitchen plumbing, repairing a roof, and completely removing contaminants of a bedroom. The bedroom needed to be cleaned so one of the four daughters could come home from the hospital. The friend was glad to be able to help this family, but was surprised and shocked that anyone would choose to live in the conditions that this family was experiencing.

Before Bob introduced Pat to Rebuilding Together, Pat’s life experiences were similar to his friend’s. He had been fortunate to have always lived in a comfortable house and make repairs as necessary. He had not realized the value having a roof and bob meinertan address had, because he had never been near homelessness. After 20 years of volunteering with RTWC he has seen that even living in a home with no hot water, a leaky roof, and holes in the floor, is better than living on the street.  He has seen that providing any stable roof for a family can be a real challenge, and is an accomplishment for the people RTWC serves, some of the financially poorest in Washington County. Thanks to Bob, Pat volunteers, donates, and champions for Rebuilding Together Washington County and the homeowners it serves because he has seen how hard they work, how proud they are of their homes, and the difference a couple dollars and a few hours of service can make on a home.

Bob recently passed away, and this will be the first ever RTWC National Rebuilding Day without Bob. Bob served RTWC as long as he could, making it is number one commitment to our community for the past 21 years, giving of his time, skills, money, and leadership while he served as board president. Even though Bob is unable to join us, his legacy will be seen on National Rebuilding Day. It is seen in the administration and mission of the organization, it will be shared at the home that Pat is co-sponsoring, and it will be passed to all the volunteers and homeowners who continue to learn about the safe, warm, and dry home repairs needs in our county.

It is our hope to serve 15 more homes this National Rebuilding Day, Saturday, April 30th. We are encouraged by the leadership of Bob and Pat and are committed to working hard in the coming months to reach our goals.

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