Army of volunteers building new home, remodels, removing blight in Detroit

Life Remodeled launches ambitious plan to build, remodel, clean up Midtown neighborhood

DETROIT – An army of volunteers are converging on a Midtown neighborhood. Their mission? To give a local woman a new home and restore pride to a community that is working hard to rebuild.

"Thank you for this blessing and we'll truly, truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart," said Aiesha Jeter.

Jeter is overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers who are building her family four walls and a roof, something she looks forward to calling home. Jeter is a preschool teacher who is raising her two sons, Jeremy and Caleb, on her own.

Life Remodeled is a non-profit organization that builds new homes and remodels older homes and neighborhoods in just six days, but it is taking on its biggest project yet in Detroit.

"Forty-eight blocks, 250 board ups, 24 remodels, brand new house. All in six days, it can be done," said Pastor Chris Lambert.

Lambert is the founder of Life Remodeled. He says they do not just build new homes for families, they become a part of each family's life.

Life Remodeled works with each family they help for three years after they have received their new home, setting them up with a financial advisor so they can afford the home.

Life Remodeled is teaming up with Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation for this project.

Jeter is now able to learn how to create a budget and develop a plan to pay her taxes. She will receive four months of family counseling and will be connected with a pastor for spiritual guidance.

"Being on my own, having a place for my family, my children to call their own. It's their house," said Jeter. "Since we've been out here on the grounds and watching them work, even the baby is saying, 'This is my house, this is my house.'"

Since 2011, Life Remodeled has built five brand new homes all over Michigan, but this is Life Remodeled's first house in Detroit.

How was the Jeter family chosen? Lambert said they always choose a family in need.

"The deal breaker is this needs to be a family that has clearly shown that they are hardworking and determined, and they will do real well with a fresh start," said Lambert.

Jeter and her sons were there as crews laid the foundation and now they are eagerly awaiting move-in day.

With over 5,000 volunteers, Life Remodeled is doing more then just rebuilding homes, they are helping families rebuild their lives.
From helping with food or drinks for the volunteers to actually helping build the houses, there is a spot for anyone who wants to help at Life Remodeled.

Quicken Loans is one of the many businesses supporting the project along with Allied Building Products, Barton Malow and Carrier Air Conditioning. Arise Detroit!, via a large General Motors volunteer workforce, has also made this project the featured event for their "Neighborhoods Day" campaign, Aug 3.

For the full list of partners with this project, click here.