Habitat for Humanity Capital Region and its partners gear pp for another successful Rock the Block
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Rock the Block, weeklong neighborhood revitalization, set for Sept. 19-23 in Northtown Lansing
Habitat for Humanity Capital Region is excited to partner with Capital Area United Way, Consumers Energy, Cristo Rey Community Center and Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) for the next Rock the Block in Northtown Lansing on Sept. 19-23.
“We believe that when community organizations collaborate, the potential impact on an effort like Rock the Block is much stronger. Each organization brings its own network, resources, experiences and skill set to the table. When combined, the community greatly benefits,” said Teresa Kmetz, president and CEO of Capital Area United Way.
Hundreds of dedicated volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and Capital Area United Way will help local families in Northtown revitalize their homes and neighborhood during the weeklong Rock the Block event, held Monday through Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Projects will take place in the neighborhoods near N. High and Whyte streets in Northtown Lansing. Cristo Rey Community Center will serve as the host location for the volunteers throughout the week, which is located at 1800 N. High St.
“Several of the partners accompanied Habitat for Humanity to canvas the neighborhoods and share the opportunity with people; going door-to-door to those that have expressed interest and meeting the neighbors. It’s great because we create energy for what is going to happen during Rock the Block,” said Joe Garcia, executive director of Cristo Rey Community Center. “This event provides an avenue for us to get to know and respect each other so that we can collaborate on future projects. The more collaborative we are, the more we can get done for the community.”
Part of the purpose of Rock the Block is to educate homeowners on how they can be more energy efficient, which is why Consumers Energy and BWL have chosen to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity Capital Region. By implementing essential energy efficiency measures in homes, Habitat for Humanity’s collaboration with the utilities will have far reaching impact on homeowners’ energy costs.
“During the Rock the Block events earlier this year, our collaboration with the utilities was able to save 44 homeowners $124,474 annually on their energy costs. This just goes to show you that it’s not only about buying an affordable home, it’s also about making your current home more affordable. The money residents save could mean a new winter jacket for their child,” said Vicki Hamilton-Allen, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Capital Region.
The utilities also saw Rock the Block as the perfect opportunity to build awareness in the community about their energy savings initiatives – Consumers Energy’s Helping Neighbors program and BWL’s Hometown Energy Savers® program.
“Rock the Block provided us with a good opportunity to help customers participate in the BWL’s Hometown Energy Savers® programs, that include free assessments, products, rebates and more. BWL provides free energy kits that include an LED bulb and nightlight to all interested homeowners. We also replace old refrigerators, room air-conditioners and dehumidifiers with ENERGY STAR models for income-qualified customers,” said Aileen Gow, energy efficiency specialist at the BWL.
During Rock the Block, Consumers Energy, as part of their Helping Neighbors program, assists homeowners by performing energy audits and implementing energy efficiency measures such as furnace tune-ups, carbon monoxide checks and air sealing homes. For the utility, it’s about starting homeowners on the journey towards energy efficiency.
“Consumers Energy has provided more than 160 free home energy audits since 2015 through our “Helping Neighbors” program thanks to increased awareness through “Rock the Block”, said Chris Thelen, public affairs area manager for Consumers Energy. “This program helps give qualified homeowners easy access to energy efficiency measures that provide monthly savings on their energy bill.”
Habitat for Humanity Capital Region’s Rock the Block is a weeklong neighborhood revitalization program in which local organizations and individuals assist homeowners with completing affordable exterior improvements. Free energy audits, yardwork and dumpster access will be available to homeowners and renters within the target area.