Tuesday March 28, 2006

Building a New Partnership

UD's Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and Rebuilding Together Dayton become partners and roommates.

The University of Dayton's Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and Rebuilding Together Dayton have become roommates, as they now share space in the University's Rubicon House, located at 1056 Brown Street near UD's campus. The two organizations will celebrate this new partnership during an open house from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at Rubicon House.

These roommates are likely to get along, as both exist to improve the area's quality of life. Rebuilding Together Dayton is a local nonprofit organization that rehabilitates and repairs owner-occupied homes for low-income residents, and the Fitz Center partners with a variety of such organizations to help them meet their goals while providing learning and volunteer opportunities for UD students, faculty and staff.

"This was an easy mission match," said Dick Ferguson, executive director of the Fitz Center. "To have a partner that has volunteer opportunities is really a nice asset for us. We believe UD students, faculty and staff will become involved in Rebuilding Together Dayton through our classes, service clubs and leadership programs."

Rebuilding Together Dayton previously was housed with the Home Builders Association of Dayton and the Miami Valley, which recently moved, leaving Rebuilding Together Dayton to look for a new home. Rubicon House was the perfect fit. 

"It is just so nice to be in a neighborhood and be part of the community," said Amy Radachi, executive director of Rebuilding Together Dayton. "Our location on Brown Street is going to bring the organization visibility and accessibility, as well as connect it to new resources to help low-income homeowners maintain their properties."

Rebuilding Together Dayton has repaired more than 250 homes since it was founded in 1996. It is the only area organization that rehabs homeowners' properties at no cost, performing such tasks as exterior repairs, painting, fixing gutters and downspouts, and much more. The organization also offers a year-round program, Neighbor Care, in which skilled trades people perform urgent home repairs and modifications, such as building wheelchair ramps and installing handrails, for low-income homeowners throughout Montgomery County.

Rebuilding Together Dayton's move comes as it prepares for National Rebuilding Day on April 29, when approximately 1,200 volunteers will work on 30 homes throughout the city of Dayton, providing $250,000 worth of home improvements.

The Rubicon House is funded by National City Bank and maintained by UD's residential services department.

For media interviews, contact Dick Ferguson at (937) 229-5400 or Amy Radachi at (937) 229-4893. For more on the Fitz Center, visit the organization's Web site at  http://artssciences.udayton.edu/leadershipincommunity. For more on Rebuilding Together Dayton, go to www.rtdayton.org.