When Erica Rocha and her husband moved into Milwaukee’s Burnham Park neighborhood, they found a great home for their young family. It was a house with lots of windows, a basement where children can play and a nice backyard. To the untrained eye, it was perfect.
However, after a visit to the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, doctors found that Rocha’s oldest daughter had elevated lead levels in her blood. The family may never know how it happened.
Lead can be found everywhere. And in this case, it was. Lead was in the soil in front of the house. Lead was in peeling paint. Lead was on windows. The stairs. It was in the basement. Lead was outside where the children liked to play.
With a second daughter beginning to walk, lead had to be removed immediately. But with extra money used to purchase the house, the new homeowners had no savings to fix this issue even though it threatened the family’s health.
This is where the Social Development Commission (SDC)’s Lead Safe Homes program made a difference.
In this case, SDC sent a lead specialist to evaluate the Rocha’s home. SDC helped provide water filters to ensure water safety. They also renovated key areas of the home to remove the lead threat.
In total, the project cost more than 24 thousand dollars.
The family was unable to remove the lead without SDC’s help.
Today, the Rocha home is everything a home should be. It’s beautiful. It’s a place to make memories. And most importantly, it’s safe.