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  • Writer's pictureRachel Nelson

Neighbors Make A Place A Home

We’re all familiar with the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” In Ms. Cecile Treece’s case, it took a little pocket of neighbors in the 46218 area.

“I could have afforded to move to a ‘better neighborhood’ but nothing was wrong with mine. I stayed because I had some wonderful neighbors who helped me raise my son,” said Cecile Treece. “I worked twelve hours a day for years! When my son was little, my neighbors helped so much.”

Cecile has lived in her home for the

past 47 years. She purchased it when she was 18 after having a coworker friend encourage her to buy instead of rent. When a house across the street from her sister’s home became available, she jumped on it. She doesn’t regret her decision one bit.

“Owning my own home means everything to me. It means freedom. It is the ability to set up my house the way I want, have friends over, and feel safe.”

Her neighbors, who her son grew up around, have long since passed. Some passed their homes down to family, others now have new neighbors taking up residence, but this area is distinctly home. Her new neighbors are kind and keep an eye out for her. They even will run out and help her pull her trash bin up to the house if they see her doing it. She has siblings who live nearby, her now grown son is not far and all of her resources are at her fingertips. Cecile has been going to the same doctor for years and absolutely loves him. The idea of having to find a new doctor if she had to leave is unthinkable. That threat began to loom when her 20 year old roof began to leak.

“I couldn’t afford to get it replaced,” said Cecile matter-of-factly. “I didn’t know what I was going to do, I knew it was just going to get worse.”

Chatting with neighbors about her repair woes led to a friend telling her about NeighborLink Indianapolis. Initially NeighborLink Indianapolis Director of Client Services, Tom Miller, considered applying for a grant to replace the roof. However, when he had a partner roofer, Adkins Roofing, take a look, it appeared patching would take care of the leak and prolong the life of the roof. In addition to the roof work, NeighborLink also repaired her front door.

“It is homeowners like Cecile that I am grateful that we are able to help. She bought her home at a very young age, is proud of her family, her accomplishments, her home, and her neighborhood. She is the neighbor that retains the history, and is the heart, of her area, and the thought of her not being part of it would be a devastating loss for the people that live near her,” said Tom Miller. “She has worked her entire life, raised her family, and bettered her neighborhood. NeighborLink being able to give her a break, and make some critical repairs to allow her to stay safely and securely in her house, is a wonderful feeling.”

Cecile noted it felt good to get the work done and know her home is back in shape. “I plan to be here as long as I can be.” She’s already shared our name and number with several other neighbors. Keep that word of mouth going!

If you feel that neighborly tug and would like to help with home repairs, get involved! We make it easy on our website.

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