SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s Revitalize Community Development Corp is celebrating its 25th year of helping people in need keep their homes safe and appealing. The nonprofit organization kicked off its “GreenNFit” Month with an announcement that over a thousand volunteers would be renovating Alden Street in Springfield’s Six Corners neighborhood.
“Been here the whole time, except for when I was away for the service,” said U.S. Air Force Captain Betty Borders. 95 Alden Street in Springfield has been retired Air Force Captain Betty Borders home most of her life. But the century-old home became too much to maintain after she had an aneurism in both eyes that required brain surgery. Then, she was notified by Revitalize CDC last month that they would help.
“Oh, screaming, yelling, jumping and whooping and hollering. I was very happy. I called all my siblings to tell them we’re finally going to get some work done on the house,” said Borders, who was also a Spanish and French teacher in Springfield Public Schools for many years until her aneurism. She now works at the Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center in Springfield helping veterans.
Betty’s beloved pine manor house, as she called it, needs a more secure porch, stable steps, work on the roof, and a big pine tree removed. The house is one of many on Alden Street that will be fixed up as part of Revitalize CDC’s annual street-by-street initiative. Many of the homes are owned by veterans, widows of veterans, or the elderly.
“Now, it’s daunting because they may not have a mortgage, but they’re on a fixed income, so it’s very difficult to be able to do, replace a roof or make the windows energy efficient so they can save money on their heating systems,” said Colleen Loveless, president and CEO of Revitalize CDC.
In the past, more than a thousand volunteers have beautified Tyler, Pendleton, King, Lebanon and Green Streets through private and some city funds. Loveless said, in the process, neighbors get to know each other, which reduces crime and encourages home ownership. The Alden Street takeover will be April 29th.