2024 Free Home Repair Program Accepting Applications

Senior Citizens, Veterans, Disabled and Lower-Income Woonsocket homeowners invited to apply to receive FREE HOME REPAIRS.


Woonsocket, RI, March 8, 2024 – NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley is seeking applicants for the 2023 Woonsocket Free Home Repair Program application. Through this program, Senior Citizens, Veterans, Disabled, and Lower-income Woonsocket homeowners are eligible to receive free home repairs through a partnership with the Christian organization Group Cares.


The 2024 Free Home Repair Program will occur the week of July 15-19, 2024. During the week, 200 teenage volunteers and their chaperones/construction supervisors will arrive in Woonsocket to provide free home repairs for 20-30 homeowners. Volunteers will stay at Woonsocket Middle School Hamlet, sleeping on classroom floors, and starting each morning with a meeting in the gymnasium. During the day, they will break into teams of 6 to provide repairs at a household.


“These really are remarkable young people,” said Mike Krantz, of Group Cares. “Each one is actually paying for the privilege of working in your community. Registration fees are used to cover our costs for food, insurance, and building materials.”


Woonsocket homeowners are invited to apply to receive completely FREE home repairs. Applications are available in both English and Spanish online at www.neighborworksbrv.org and in paper form from 9am-5pm at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (719 Front Street, Suite 103).


Eligible repair projects include exterior painting, interior painting, wheel chair construction, porch and step repair/replacement, and landscaping. Each recipient must be able to provide 4-5 days of work for a group of 6 volunteers, a bathroom for the volunteers to use, and be present during the week. 


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Based on past experience, interested applicants are encouraged to apply ASAP. We will stop accepting applications once 60 have been received.


Questions about the Free Home Repair Program or the application can be directed to the Program Manager Paula Rezendes, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 401-762-0993.


2024 will mark the sixth year NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley has partnered with Group Cares to offer the Free Home Repair Program. Over the course of the first five years of the program (2016, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023), 195 homes have been repaired by 1497 volunteers, contributing over 33,000 hours of volunteer investment into the City. The Free Home Repair Program has invested $1.7 million in the Woonsocket Community since launching in 2016 (when factoring material costs, cost of volunteer housing, volunteer spending in the community, and the in-kind value of volunteer labor). 


NeighborWorks is still fundraising the $20,000 co-sponsor fee NWBRV pays to bring the program to Woonsocket.


The idea behind the Program started in Colorado in 1977 when residents suffered from the Big Thompson River flood in which hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed and over 140 people lost their lives. Church youth groups of many different denominations came from across the country the next summer to help. In 1978, the program went nationwide to include other disadvantaged areas throughout the country.


This summer, Group Cares is organizing 32 Mission Trips across the globe, with 16 domestic Home Repair trips. Christian youth groups across the country pay $498 to participate in a Free Home Repair Mission Trip and have the choice to serve in one of 16 communities across the country ranging from Kentucky and Michigan to Maine and Woonsocket, Rhode Island.