100s of volunteers getting ready for Rock the Block event

Posted: 3:32 PM, Sep 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-14 15:46:33-04

Local families in Northtown will have their homes revitalized during the Habitat for Humanity Capital Region’s annual Rock the Block event.

Hundreds of volunteers from the Habitat for Humanity and the Capital Area United Way will be in the neighborhoods near N. High and Whyte streets. The Cristo Rey Community Center will serve as the host location for the volunteers throughout the week-long event that starts Monday.

“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 also educate homeowners on being more energy efficient. To help with this, Consumers Energy and BWL have collaborated with Habitat for Humanity.

By using energy efficiency measures in homes, Habitat for Humanity’s collaboration with the utility companies have had an impact on the homeowners’ energy cost.

“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.
Consumers Energy and BWL will also be using Rock the Block as a way to raise awareness in the community about energy saving initiatives like 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.