Tri-Cities home repair nonprofit struggles to stay afloat post-pandemic
KENNEWICK, Wash. — It’s the sweet sound on a 95-degree day: air conditioning.
But who do you call when that fan, stops spinning?
“We provide free home repairs for low income, disabled and veterans,” Rick Peenstra said.
Peenstra, a Board Chair with Rebuilding Mid-Columbia, said the nonprofit was founded six years ago.
They help Tri-Cities and regional homeowners with minor home repairs or connect them with contractors for bigger fixes.
“And they take care of it, at no charge for the homeowner,” he said.
Summer is when Rebuilding Mid-Columbia typically gets a slew of calls for broken A/C’s, window repairs and everything in between.
But the Tri-Cities nonprofit is experiencing a problem.
“Virtually we were shut down for almost two years. Really difficult for us right now,” Peenstra said.
Financially, Rick said they’re struggling to stay afloat, stemming from 2020.
“We were 90 days away from having our annual fundraiser and our annual fundraiser provides 50 to 60 percent of our annual income,” he said.
With inflation and labor shortages, Rick said the companies Rebuilding Mid-Columbia relied on, are having to turn them down.
“Tough for them to dig deep and give money to somebody else when they were having difficulties of their own. They say, we’d love to help you, but-” Rick said.
Peenstra added, it’s a similar problem for most nonprofits throughout the Tri-Cities and they’re hoping someone, or something can step up to donate money or their services.
“We are determined that we’re not going to let this fail, we’ve done it for going on six years and we’re going to continue to do it,” Rick said, “the pay that we get is maybe a hug from the homeowner. They tell us they have no place else to go and we understand that, and that’s why we do this.”
To donate to Rebuilding Mid-Columbia or volunteer, visit their website.
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