Community Forklift’s Community Building Blocks program provided the nonprofit AbodesJoy with free toilets for its Women’s Home Repair Training Program. This program teaches basic construction skills to female homeowners and renters from under-resourced communities, allowing them to complete repair and renovation projects in their own homes. The toilets for this workshop were used to teach participants about plumbing basics such as types of drain snakes, how to assemble P-traps, how to unclog drains, and more.

“My house is old, I’m single, and I want to be able to talk to plumbers and other repair professionals in an educated way. Like a lot of single women, I feel vulnerable to being overcharged or oversold by repair people who assume I don’t know anything.”

– Kendra R., AbodesJoy program participant

The plumbing workshop is one of the nonprofit’s six free workshops that cover a variety of skills, including basic carpentry, plumbing, electrical, drywall, tile, and design basics. These skills will help ensure that women have an opportunity to improve their homes and build home equity.

AbodesJoy was created to address the housing crisis in Maryland and the District of Columbia. “The data show that DC and the Maryland suburbs suffer a severe and deepening housing crisis, exacerbated by COVID-19,” said AbodesJoy Executive Director Ruti Kadish. “Nowhere is this more true than in already under-resourced and stressed communities in which residents struggle to maintain the upkeep of their homes and build equity in these homes. Many of these households are headed by single female homeowners, who deserve a chance to gain the skills to maintain their homes and improve the value of the surrounding communities.”

In addition to teaching women the necessary skills they need to repair and maintain their homes, AbodesJoy aims to create communities where all individuals and families have access to safe and welcoming living spaces that give them a sense of well-being, confidence, and a healthy home.

“As a prospective homeowner, I feel confident knowing that I won’t have to call an industry pro for minor home repairs that I can tackle myself. The skills I am learning are also benefiting my friends and family as I help them with small projects in their homes.”

– Kalisha O., AbodesJoy program participant

AbodesJoy is 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a project of Branches Realty. To find out more about their work, support their mission, or learn how to enroll in the next training cohort, visit their website or contact Executive Director Ruti Kadish at

Community Forklift’s Community Building Blocks program provides free salvaged materials to community groups and other nonprofits for projects that benefit the public. To learn more about the program or apply for materials, visit our website or contact Susana, our Community Giving Coordinator, at 301-985-5180 ext. 303.


Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse.  We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.