Friday, August 24, 2017
Last summer, Project Raise The Roof visited a vacant house in The Ville Neighborhood. Inscriptions of dates and family member names lined the porch and walk of this once-bustling beloved family home. Based on nothing but a loose lead from a neighbor that the son of the home’s former owners were still around–PRTR went to auction on the last day and won the house for minimum bid. Then came the task of searching for the rightful heirs. We found Mr. Stone and his family renting a home elsewhere in the North City, still coming to grips with the cold reality that their family home would soon become yet another neglected LRA-owned property they would never be able to pass on to their children. Boy, were they in for a surprise…
PRTR met with Mr. and Mrs. Stone to let them know we had kept the property from going to the LRA and did an emergency roof repair to stabilize it. At first, the Stones thought it was just too good to be true. “What a blessing,” they told us. But it still needs a lot of work before they can move in to restore it to its former beauty.
Of this property, Mrs. Stone wrote:
“When I think of the house on Maffitt, I think of family, stability, togetherness. For as long as I can remember, this house has been filled with generations of memories. (I could go on with so many stories!) Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and children–all filled with laughter, love, and hope. My husband was 5 years old when he moved into this house where he grew up. What an exciting moment for a young, up-and-coming African American family in the city!
“My mother-in-law was always bustling around the kitchen cooking up something for a get-together. My husband was very close to his mom and would love nothing more than to continue her legacy. Being able to reclaim this home, to keep it in our family, would be a meaningful step toward preserving her memory. And it would mean having a place for our children, 16 and 5, to call home for generations into the future. As for me, I didn’t have that stability growing up. Maybe that’s why I fight so hard for my children to enjoy the basic things I lacked.
“At one point in time, The Ville was filled with families, with true community who looked out for one another; it was a place where young men and women grew up, bought homes, and had children of their own. Today, the neighborhood is filled with dilapidated buildings. For us to be able to own and fix up our family home would mean happiness for not only our family, but hope for other St. Louis families and their future generations.”
PRTR currently seeks to raise ~$2000 for legal expenses to transfer the deed and to give this family a boost for basic repairs. We hope you’ll contribute a few dollars to help this family hold on to their memories and build wealth across generations, and be the community leaders who begin restoring a neighborhood for the people who built it up to begin with.
Click the button below to contribute to the Stone Family’s future.