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Volunteers Revitalize Historic St. Paul Homes

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Volunteers took over a St. Paul neighborhood Saturday to lend a helping hand.

The organization Hearts and Hammers worked to revitalize almost a dozen homes in St. Paul. One of the men whose home was rejuvenated was Gregorio Guzman.

Guzman lives in a large historic house on Dayton Avenue. It dates back to 1865.

Ever since he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and a heart condition, he can’t keep up work on the house, and that’s when the Hearts and Hammers organization came to his rescue. Dozens of volunteers fixed and painted his home all day Saturday.

“I watched the weather every day, looked at the TV, saw scattered thundershowers,” Guzman said. “I got on my hands and knees and prayed for a nice Saturday. I got it.”

The project is part of the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood initiative. St. Paul is the only Minnesota city to receive this federal grant, awarded by the United States Department of Education.

Hearts and Hammers has been working in the neighborhood for two years, and has been in the Twin Cities since 1997. Its mission is to provide free revitalization to senior and disabled homeowners as a way to help them live independently in their homes.

“We were actually postponed from two weeks ago when it was raining,” said Mike Hutson, the Executive Director of Hearts and Hammers. “We for the first time ever in 14 years had to postpone our event, and we end up with this. Couldn’t have asked a better day.”

Hearts and Hammers will continue to work in the neighborhood throughout the summer and are looking for more homeowners in need of help.

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