After his father purchased their family home in the 1960s, Craig spent his childhood living there with his siblings, until moving away as an adult.
When his parents passed, some of Craig’s brothers and sisters occupied the home, but were unable to keep up on the repairs. His last sibling to live there told Craig he was leaving and that the house would become vacant. Unwilling to lose the home that had been in his family for decades, Craig left his own place and moved in.
On the first night he spent in the house, a severe storm struck the neighborhood. It was only when rainwater came pouring into every room that Craig realized how majorly deteriorated the roof had become.
He explains, “I was discouraged, I was ready to leave. It used to be a beautiful house long ago.”
From there, the to-do list only grew longer. Though Craig decided to stay in his home, he was unsure how to address the severe neglect on his own. He was not particularly trusting of politicians and was not confident that the neighborhood would ever return from its state of decay.
The Walnut Neighborhood Housing Coalition assisted Craig and directed him to Iowa Heartland’s program. He was able to get a complete exterior refitting of siding for his home, and have a new roof put on. Iowa Heartland is working with him on completing his windows next.
“It gave me a lot of faith in trying to get the house back to its former glory.”
Craig is beyond grateful for the people that helped restore his childhood home. After a little bit of convincing, he has gone from a distrustful resident to an advocate for the work the entire coalition is doing—and for Iowa Heartland, in particular.
“Seeing how things turned around in a small amount of time, I believe that anything is possible through Heartland.”