BALTIMORE — With the help of a community center, a 63-year-old homeowner in the Greenmount West neighborhood will have her home rebuilt. It's an effort to repair shoddy construction work left by a crew back in 2018.
"I love Baltimore. This is my home," said Rosalind Bell. "I've lived on this street for almost 30 years."
And back in 2018 she says her home was partially ruined by a storm.
"It was like in the Wizard of Oz," she recalled. "My neighbor told me he saw my roof fly off."
Like any responsible homeowner, Rosalind, who many in the neighborhood call Miss Bell, filed the proper insurance paperwork and had a construction crew come out.
She says she eventually realized the crews were con artists.
"They took my walls apart," she said. "I didn't question it at the time because I figured they knew what they were doing. I am no contractor."
Since then, Miss Bell has been living out of her living room in the 300 block of E. Lafayette Street.
"I’ve been dealing with it for so long it’s like comes a part of you," she said, staring at a miss patch of drywall in her kitchen. "But it’s a part of you that you don’t want to except. I know there's a way that this can be fixed."
The problems extend all the way to her third floor where it's the worst. The walls are completely gone. Sheet rock has been pulled down to the studs.
To help, Greenmount West Community Center has taken the 63-year-old under it's wing.
"We started working with Miss Bell about a year-and-a-half ago," said staff member Kennedy McDaniel. "We even helped her secure resources she needed.
The center has gone a step further with the recent launch of The Bell House Community Build Project.
"Our ultimate goal of the Bell House Community Build is to completely renovate Miss Belle‘s house," said McDaniel. "She’s been in the community for almost 30 years as a homeowner and we want to make sure that she can stay in her home and age in place with dignity and grace."
The fundraising goal is $300,000.
Right now the center is looking at bids from contractors.
"This is an all-out effort," said McDaniel.
Last week the center rented dumpsters to help clear out home clutter and consolidate items. It's all in an effort for the major steps ahead.
"We'll eventually put Miss Bell in temporary housing during the reno," said McDaniel. "We're a small group but a mighty one. But we're going to need all the help we can get."
Greenmount West Community Center is no stranger to helping community members. WMAR-2 News recently featured the non-profit's efforts to provide free laundry to the neighborhood.
"This is the first project of it's kind," said McDaniel. "It's a huge undertaking but we know we can make it happen."
As for Miss Bell, she says she's looking forward to the month's ahead.
"It's hard to put into words," she said. "But I'm looking forward to once again walking into my dream home."
If you'd like to donate to The Bell House Community Build Project click here.
You can also volunteer or give mutual aid by filling out this form here.
For more information on Greenmount West Community Center, click here.