POSTED: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 5:04pm
BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) — The Johnsons have been battling a leaky roof for months, but because of health problems, they haven’t been able to fix it.
“We tried to put stuff up there and block it off, all kinds of stuff,” says Douglas Johnson. “None of that worked.
Then, they heard about Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge. It’s an organization that remodels homes for veterans, senior citizens, and low income residents for free.
“Next thing I know, I have an army of volunteers and an actual police in uniform on top of the house.”
Police, sheriff’s deputies, and volunteers spent the entire day patching up the Johnson’s roof.
“Normally when we see them come around here, it’s for something bad” Johnson says.
Law enforcement officials stripped free of their badges and got right to work.
“When I come in plain clothes, it makes for a better relationship,” says Cpl. Tyrone Honore with Baton Rouge Police Department. “They feel more comfortable. They talk to you without the badge looking at them.”
“We let them see that we’re people who really want to make a difference in our community,” adds Captain Rodney Walker with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Across the parish, 13 other home were getting similar makeovers. The goal of the projects is to revitalize blighted neighborhoods and give people pride in their homes.
“It speaks to the heart of people in Baton Rouge,” East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden says. “They say I’m not just going to talk about the problem. I’m going to do something about the problem.”
Already, the Johnson’s have noticed a difference on their street.
“It gives kind of a positive effect to the whole neighborhood,” he says. “This has been a whole sense of outlook and humanity back on a positive side.”