Rebuilding Homes

Repairing a home can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in materials and labor. But local businesses are volunteering their time to alleviate such a financial burden for low-income families.

Since 1993, the not-for-profit Rebuilding Together Aurora reaches out to contractors and volunteers to fix up homes throughout the city.

One of their largest projects this year is the home of Julie Perez. When the city of Aurora cited her home for faulty exterior siding, rebuilding together called upon 13 remodeling businesses in Naperville, who call themselves The Home Team, to lend a hand.

“We thought we’d come out, do some grunt work and fix the siding,” said John Gallagher, Chairman for The Home Team and Owner of Exterior Design, Incorporated. “Well each one of us thought well, we could do more!”

So in addition to fixing the siding, workers also installed new garage windows, replaced the kitchen’s flooring, and redid the plumbing and electricity. In all, they did about $50,000 worth of work on the home.

“What I love most about this is neighbors helping neighbors, people from Naperville coming over to Aurora and saying I’m going to give up my Saturday to make sure you have a better home,” said Emily Stern, Executive Director for Rebuilding Together Aurora.

Mayor Pradel gave up part of his Saturday as well to check out the work in progress. “It’s just important as a human being to reach out and help other human being,” said Pradel. “Whether it’s in Naperville or Aurora, it doesn’t make any difference. It’s just trying to help people get a better way of life.”

“I’m very excited,” said homeowner Julie Perez. “Ever since my father died, things have been changing for me and my mom so this is a new beginning for us.”

Rebuilding Together Aurora is looking for more volunteers. You don’t have to live in Aurora to join. To help out, visit


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