“It’s again that gift we are giving:” Milwaukee neighborhood receives facelift

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee's north side has been given $70,000 to revitalize the Washington Park neighborhood.

Habitat for Humanity helps families by rebuilding homes that are in bad shape. The organization is working on a home that was previously in foreclosure and will end up going to a new homeowner.  One that possibly couldn't afford it on her own.

"I have a vision, that vision always gets altered based on what we find," Construction Director Michael Cockroft said.

That vision made possible through Habitat for Humanity's neighborhood revitalization effort.

"It's one thing to work in construction and build houses, but working in construction, partnering with families and building houses in the inner city community, especially for me, this is a community  I grew up in. It's an amazing feeling," said Cockroft.

This effort is part of a $70,000 grant from Lowe's helps pay for the materials, and the work is being done by volunteers.

"It's more than the time or the volunteering, it`s again that gift we are giving to Ms Jackson and her family," said Rob Lipski, Store Manager at Wauwatosa Lowe's.

The revitalization effort is more than just making the house look good. It's also about making the house energy-efficient. One of the things they are doing is caulking the seams of the window, to make sure none of the heat escapes.

The goal is to make these homeowners long-time residents -- something Cockroft says will contribute to better, safer neighborhoods.

"The idea is to continue doing what we're doing and change the neighborhood block by block," Cockroft said.

The $70,000 is also going towards refurbishing another home in the same neighborhood with the same program. Those part of this program had to qualify for it, and also have to contribute about 300-500 hours of work themselves on their own home,  or other projects like this.