REACH plans to renovate SE home, make positive change in the community

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – A non-profit in the Star City is beginning a new project to help revitalize Southeast Roanoke and provide hope for the community.

REACH (Real Experiences Affecting Change) bought a run-down home from the city with the plans to renovate and sell it to a reliable low-income family.

reach-web1The home located at 709 Stewart Street is the first project of a broader plan to improve the quality of living in the area.

Big dreams and a better vision for Southeast Roanoke, Pastor Tim Dayton, Executive Director of REACH, said the home has potential.

“This gives you a small idea of the potential of what it could be,” said Dayton.

He said despite the current condition, he sees past the cosmetic problems of the house and envisions a bright future for a family.

“I see a home with a family, kids running around, great rooms with space and it’s warm,” Dayton said.

A first for REACH, the non-profit was able to purchase this home in Southeast Roanoke for $10,000

Dayton refers to REACH as a “catalyst” in the project and said that it will be the community, its organizations and volunteers that truly get the project done.

During a tour of the home, Dayton said his volunteers plan to partner with local service organizations to renovate the home.

They have the hopes of turning a blite to a new beginning for a family who will have affordable payments with a low-interest loan.

“It’s much more affordable for a family to pay a $400 mortgage than double that amount in rent,” Dayton said.

Dayton took WSLS 10's Rachel Lucas on a tour through the home.
Dayton took WSLS 10’s Rachel Lucas on a tour through the home.

He said the project is as much for the volunteers as it is the potential home owners.

“Small victories, I need small victories to show them that as a group when we come in, that we are affecting some kind of change,” Dayton said. “The physical change of an abandoned home to a living, breathing beautiful house with a family living in it gives them the sense of when can get something done.”

While the project starts with one home, Dayton said that’s only the beginning. He said this is a smaller piece to truly making a difference in Southeast Roanoke.

“The real beauty of this plan, with all the money that people donate to this, and all of the money we make from it, goes to purchasing the next house. Penny for Penny,” Dayton said.

Dayton said it’s part of a bigger plan to transform the neighborhood and benefit the community.

“What we like to call it is the snowball effect. It’s like a snowball going down a hill, after we get the first one made, we will make enough money to purchase a second house, but more than likely two houses, and then we will start two work crews, after that four houses, eight houses and before you know it, the only problem will be there aren’t enough abandoned homes in Roanoke to work on,” Dayton said.

It’s still early on in the process. Dayton said they have not begun the process to pick a family to purchase the home. That process will begin at a later date.

Right now, they are opening bids to local construction companies to help with project. Dayton stresses that REACH is only a catalyst in the project and that they will rely on local groups to step up and help make the project a reality.

REACH is looking for volunteers, businesses and corporate sponsors, as well as donations from the public. To donate, visit their website.

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