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  • Writer's pictureRachel Nelson

Making a house a home in Riverside

Finding a house near where Linda’s job at IU Health, University Hospital was seemed like a no-brainer. She and her mom stumbled upon a great little house in the Riverside neighborhood. Linda and her mom bought the home more than twenty years ago when Linda’s daughter was just eight years old.

“It wasn’t in great shape when we bought it, but little by little, I could do things,” explained Linda. “My dad had been a builder, he built our family home in Tennessee. So I can do some things.”

The home became Linda’s entirely after her mom passed and her daughter’s last move out for her own home, when she was 30. She’s had fun touching up cosmetics in the house—laying down flooring, sprucing up her kitchen, painting walls, and overall making a house very much a home.

After working more than 20 years for IU Health in the housekeeping department, Linda retired and was looking forward to a season of rest, home projects, grand kids, and living life to the fullest. When she retired, she took her 401k and paid off her home.

“I like this neighborhood, It’s a quiet neighborhood,” said Linda. “My neighbors can get a little wild sometimes, but it’s cool,” Linda said of her Riverside area. “I’ve been able to host several family reunions over at the park.”

She knew having no mortgage payment would be an enormous relief and allow her to live well within her means. Unfortunately, a drunk driver found themselves driving the wrong way on Linda’s road and right on into her house. The accident busted her main waterline. Thankfully, insurance took care of that, but it did leave other projects needing to be tended to. Linda, not one to be ruffled easily, took it in stride. “It all worked out.”

Though Linda is originally from Tennessee, over the years her entire family has migrated up to Indiana, all somewhat nearby. Her daughter lives over in Speedway with her grandsons and her son lives on the Westside with her other grandchildren. She has her network, her community and some of her closest friends here. When asked how long she plans on staying in her home, she takes a practical approach to her answer.

“I plan on staying here as long as I can move around and do for myself.”

She learned about NeighborLink Indianapolis from 2-1-1. There were just some things that she wasn’t able to DIY nor did she have the funds to take on, such as a large roofing project and several electrical projects. NeighborLink Indianapolis was recently able to hire a full-time handywoman who happens to be nearing earning her status as a master electrician. Having her on staff has allowed us to take on projects such as Linda’s where we need that professional skill.

“I was really glad you guys were here to help me out. I was really glad,” said Linda. “I always wanted to fix up some things but didn’t have the right kind of money to fix it up.”

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