Old home, made new

Mission | September 19, 2019

The house on the corner of Grand and Walling Court in Davenport has seen better days in its 120 years.

The windows are boarded up, grass and trees are overgrown, garbage covers the floors, and plumbing and electrical systems need some serious attention. It’s one of dozens of homes in Davenport that need an investment of time and money to fix up to become an affordable home for a family.

That is exactly what is about to happen.

“As we know – food, clothing and shelter are basic needs for everyone,” said Kathy Schutman, one of the affordable housing team members who are leading this initiative. Others in the group include Steve Evans, Lori Bippus, and Dave Crockett. “I worked in the social work field for more than 20 years and having your own home can be an impossible dream for many people.  There are generations of families who will never experience home ownership due to circumstances beyond their control. We are going to work together to make this happen for one Madison family.”

The house renovation is scheduled to begin soon. To express interest, sign up here. Opportunities include:

General work day: This is for clearing the inside of the house of significant debris. The date is Saturday, Oct. 5, 8:30 a.m.-noon and 12:30-4 p.m. Supplies  will be provided.

Skilled work: To keep the cost of rehabbing the house low, One Eighty work crews and St. Paul work crews will do some of the work. However, some professional/licensed work is needed. Do you have skills in the following areas and are willing to help?

  1. Windows/siding
  2. Landscaping
  3. Plumbing
  4. Electrical
  5. Carpentry
  6. Flooring
  7. HVAC

When the renovation is done, a family from Madison Elementary School will call it home. Mom is a full-time student, dad works at a local hardware store. The couple has four kids. They were chosen with the help of school leaders.

This is the second house that One Eighty has renovated as part of an initiative to fight poverty by turning abandoned houses into affordable homes. The first house also is now home to a Madison Elementary School family.

“It’s been abandoned for over 10 years,” said Rusty Boruff, the founder of One Eighty. “As you can see, most would drive by it and be scared to even look at it let alone own it. Our team sees a house that is ready to fulfill its purpose again. This specific house will be part of One Eighty’s cutting edge program that is designed to create home ownership. Home ownership is vital to the health of a community.”

To start the house on Walling Court, St. Paul made an upfront monetary gift of $43,000 to One Eighty for the express purpose of One Eighty acquiring and rehabbing a home in need of repairs in the Madison Elementary School boundary. One Eighty now owns the home. The family selected for the program will make a reasonable payment each month to One Eighty, based on their income.  One Eighty will eventually turn over ownership of the home once program expectations are met.

All the while, a team of people from St. Paul will help refurbish the home, and then support the family as they move from instability to stability. The hope is that this pilot project is the beginning of an extended partnership.

The previous owner donated the house to One Eighty. The hope is to have the house completed no later than springtime.

“St. Paul is demonstrating that we understand life can be very challenging,” Kathy said. “St. Paul is committed to the families at Madison School. This is another example of that commitment, and to help improve the lives of others in our community.”

3 Comments on “Old home, made new”

  • Sheila Mesick

    September 26, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Blessings to all involved at every level. This is a neighborhood that was home to me and my daughter, I lived on Farnam Street directly behind Walling Court for 29 years.

  • anke maass

    September 19, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Please put me down for the Saturday afternoon shift to help if possible

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