How DC-area women are helping rebuild Montgomery County homes

Patricia Haskins has lived in her Montgomery County, Maryland, home for 30 years.

“After 10 years, you have problems,” Haskins said of the condition of her home.

That’s why, this week, dozens of local women gathered to help repair flood damage and add some necessary additions to the home.

She Builds is a women-led and women-focused project working alongside Montgomery County Rebuilding Together that utilizes volunteers to provide free, critical repairs for women-led households in need.

Kim Cameron, director of development with She Builds, said Haskins’ home is just one of the many projects the group is working on year-round.

“This year, we have a goal of serving 180 families,” Cameron said. “But since inception, we’ve served 3,000 families, mobilized over 50,000 volunteers and reinvested … close to $28 million back into the communities that we live in, work in and that we care about.”

This week, the focus on Haskins’ home was replacing a flood-damaged wall in the basement and creating a safe, level path around the back of the home for her to safely walk on.

“And they put a bar in the bathroom for me,” Haskins said. “So if I get out of the tub or the shower, I can hold on to it for support. And that was something I didn’t know I would need until one day, I happened to turn around and my back said ‘uh oh’.”

This isn’t the first time the organization has worked on Haskins’ home. In June, they built a ramp out her front door to assist her partner James who is a wheelchair user.

“They’ve done so much that I’ve appreciated. At the time of my life [when] it’s important, and they’re good. I have no complaints,” Haskins said.

But it’s not just about making these homeowners’ living situations more comfortable and safer. Development and communications coordinator Shelby Badger said the work volunteers do is aimed to have a long-lasting impact.

“Montgomery County is a very expensive county,” Badger said. “So, we’re trying to preserve the affordable housing stock in the county and also try to create that intergenerational wealth so that we can have families staying in their homes for years to come.”

For more information on the nonprofit and its efforts, you can go to

Grace Newton

Grace Newton is an Associate Producer at WTOP. She also works as an associate producer for NPR Newscast. Grace was born and raised in North Carolina but has lived in D.C. since 2018. Grace graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in art history in 2022.

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