Local non-profit Bridges Outreach has completed renovations to a historic home and is in the process of selling the house.
The organization has completed the transformation of the house at 725 N. Courtland Ave. last month, according to a press release, and is in the process of selling it to a member of the Bridges community who graduated from Kokomo High School. The new owner will also already have a built-in net worth.
Bridges Outreach serves hundreds of at-risk children through tutoring, after-school programs and mentoring and provides employment and training opportunities.
The nonprofit received the property from the City of Kokomo last June after the nonprofit approached Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore last January and inquired about homes owned to the city that could be used for the organization’s new housing program.
The goal of the new housing program, Bridges CEO Travis Taflinger said last year, is to increase home ownership in the city, with the idea that homeowners will take pride in their property, l will maintain and, thus, provide homeowners and the surrounding neighborhood with more stability. The association hopes to renovate and sell one to three houses per year.
“At Bridges, we see a lot of bad landlords, and a lot of them that are bad are strangers, and they just don’t care about the community, and they don’t do a very good job of taking care of the people. people,” Taflinger said at the time, adding that the nonprofit expects to flip and sell one to three homes a year to a Bridges family.
The two-storey Italian-style brick house, according to historical accounts, was built by Rawson Vaile, whose name is preserved in Vaile Avenue. It stands out – in a good way – among the other houses in the neighborhood and is located next to the Cloverleaf Trail.
Vaile — an anti-slavery journalist, lawyer, teacher, school principal, and one of Kokomo’s first settlers in 1857 — built the 2,000-square-foot brick building in 1875, making it one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood.
The property was donated to the city’s blight disposal program in 2018, but instead of demolishing it, the city, under the leadership of former Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, decided to preserve it. The city spent money on brick repairs, grouting on exterior walls of houses, new doors, repaired the roof, and installed new windows.
Bridges received a grant from United Way of Howard and Tipton Countys to help defray renovation costs. Other partners and donors include:
- Town of Kokomo – house and property given
- ZKB Contracting-Major contractor
- Mygrant Realty & Appraisals – lead donor and project management
- Indiana’s First Community Bank
- The Hardy Group
- Merrell Brothers
- Star building supply
- Accommodation Advantage
- Lerche and electrical wires
- Economy blinds from Kokomo and Lafayette
- Bridgeway Community Church
- Makeshift Heating and Cooling
- Multi-Service Roof
- Clifford signs
- Dowdy’s all-in-one