This nonprofit is repairing Philly rowhouses one block at a time to keep residents in their homes

Media Outlet


Kevin Riordan

When a contractor showed up at the rowhouse Deborah Ryles has lived in most of her life, she couldn’t believe her ears.

“He told me he was putting on a new roof,” she said. “I just stood on the steps and cried.”

Along with nine of her neighbors near 53rd and Sansom Streets in West Philly, Ryles, 76, is among the latest beneficiaries of an organization called Rebuilding Together Philadelphia. RTP is a nonprofit and partners with grassroots organizations, such as the Enterprise Center in West Philly, to identify blocks and residents who would be likely participants in the free home-improvement program.