Change the World 2009: Behind the Scenes at the Philadelphia Home

HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse and Monica Pedersen, along with more than 200 volunteers from Rebuilding Together, worked together to renovate this home for homeless veterans. Volunteers spent some 2,300 hours on the project.

  • This house is home to transitioning veterans, part of a program operated by the Pennsylvania American Legion Housing for Homeless Veterans Corporation. In the three-bedroom townhouse, homeless veterans receive food and shelter, plus help finding work and a permanent place to live. Since 1994, nearly 400 veterans have successfully left the program and have gone on to become productive members of the workforce.
  • Before: Like most homes that are more than 70 years old, the house desperately needs updates to increase its utility and efficiency. This drafty house needs new windows and additional insulation.
  • Before: The kitchen is small and dysfunctional. The makeover will include upgraded Energy Star-rated appliances and CFL lighting.
  • Before: The bathroom is a mess. Besides a thorough update, it needs improved accessibility for disabled veterans.
  • Volunteers work on the front yard while others tackle the house.
  • Considerable painting preparation was necessary throughout the house.
  • Some of the many volunteers who worked on this project gather in front of the house. Thank you, volunteers!
  • Front row (l to r): John C. Tomosky, Commander, 1st District, American Legion Dept. of Pennsylvania; Joe Gunkle, American Legion Commander, Bridesburg Post 821; Stanley Fabiszewski, American Legion Housing for Homeless Veterans Corp.; Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia; Terry Lewis, American Legion Housing for Homeless Veterans Corp. Back row (l to r): Carter Oosterhouse; Pennsylvania State Representative Tony Payton; John Stevens, Head Coach of Philadelphia Flyers
  • HGTV host Monica Pederson joins with a group of volunteers from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, IBEW Local 98.
  • The following images tell a wonderful story of a community coming together to help those who have served our country. HGTV would like to say a special thank you to all the volunteers and local sponsors for making this renovation possible. Together we can Change the World.
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