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September 19, 2014 Community, Partnerships, Volunteering

Boots for Building in Philadelphia

A major building project underway in Point Breeze. (WPVI)

Every month nearly 1,000 service members remove their military uniform and return to civilian life. It can be a challenge getting back to “normal” everyday life.

A new program kicked off Friday that allows veterans to continue to serve while building up the community they live in.

A major building project is underway in Philadelphia’s Point Breeze neighborhood. Six homes are being worked on in one weekend – the manpower behind the project centers around former military members.

It’s called Boots for Building, and its kicking off right here in Philadelphia.

David Gilkeson of Veterans Build explains, “This is a great place to demonstrate veterans and the brotherhood we have in service coming together in the City of Brotherly Love.”

Veterans organizations are partnering with Habitat for Humanity, Team Rubicon and Home Depot. They hope to make a difference for families, but also to help vets transition back into their communities across the country.

Matt Runyon of Team Rubicon says, “I think cross sector partnerships like this are essential to come together as a community, to just keep our focus on how we help one another.”

The new homes are a welcomed addition to the area.

Habitat for Humanity’s Frank Monaghan tells us, “This has been a vacant for years – over 15 years. So all of sudden there’s going to be six new homeowners bringing even more vitality to this neighborhood.”

For Jenna Brandolini, Boots for Building selecting Philadelphia as its first project is dear to her heart.

“Philadelphia for me is home, so it’s a really big deal to me to help our community. I work in the city and I live in the city, so it’s a huge thing here to be able to help out these families,” she said.

Hundreds of veterans will join forces with Habitat for Humanity of Philadelphia to participate in the three day project.