Life for southwest resident Perly Viasmensky just became a lot easier.
With the help of Southwest Gas and Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada, a nonprofit that helps repair homes for low-income residents, Viasmensky received a yard makeover April 25 and 26 at her home near Pennwood Avenue and Arville Street.
About 100 volunteers replaced grass with decorative rock, primed her iron fence, removed trees and stumps and painted the house’s exterior.
The estimated value of the project was about $9,000 without labor, said Southwest Gas spokesman Stephen Miller.
“The first day we were out there from about 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the second day we were there from about 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” Miller said. “It was two very long days, but everyone kept plugging through.”
The project received a 45-ton rock donation from Star Nursery and artificial turf from Synthetic Lawns of Las Vegas.
“Synthetic Lawns of Las Vegas also submitted a rebate form to the Southern Nevada Water Authority on behalf of (Viasmensky),” Miller said. “They were able to get her a rebate for taking out the grass in her yard.”
Viasmensky, 72, lives with her brother, Antonio Larraz, 75, who was seriously injured in a car crash four years ago.
“My brother was a very active person all his life,” Viasmensky said. “He used to do everything around this house. It was a beauty.”
Since the accident, Viasmensky was left in charge of home repairs and maintaining the yard.
“I was trying the best I could, but the yard is extremely big,” Viasmensky said. “It was too much for me to handle, especially when I have to take care of (Larraz).”
To qualify for the program, Rebuilding Together requires applicants to be at least age 60 and be a person with disabilities; a veteran or family member of an active-duty military service member or a multigenerational family; the home’s occupant and owner; and current with the mortgage and real estate taxes.
Viasmensky believes someone recommended her to the program.
“They came to me out of the blue,” Viasmensky said. “I didn’t know the program existed. They asked if I would like to receive a house makeover. From one day to the next, people started coming over and planning it.”
Viasmensky was included in every decision to make sure she approved of all the changes.
“They didn’t come in saying, ‘We’re doing this and this.’ They shared everything with me,” Viasmensky said. “They were very respectful and took it upon themselves to help me. I couldn’t be happier.”
Rebuilding Together selects 20 local homes per year and invites companies to adopt them, according to Miller.
“(Viasmensky) was our first pick,” Miller said. “We wanted to do this for her so she can focus on taking care of her brother rather than worrying about yard work.”
Originally from Cuba, Viasmensky has lived in Las Vegas for 55 years and has owned the home for 15 years.
“All I have to do now is enjoy my roses,” Viasmensky said. “I’m very happy with the changes. It will make my life a lot easier.”
For more information, visit rtsnv.org or call 702-259-4900.
Contact Southwest View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0403.