160 Abandoned Apartments Are Being Remodeled In Ohio By Volunteers For The Homeless

January 7, 2016

Volunteers in Campbell, Ohio began remodeling two apartments on Saturday for veterans that don't have a home. Four veterans will be moving into them, rent free, once they're done.

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The goal of the project is to help the veterans get on their feet. After that, the next step is moving them into permanent housing once they are more stable.

Iron Soup Historical Preservation is an organization that works to remodel abandoned homes in Campbell. They have invested thousands of dollars on these two apartments to not only help veterans, but to make historical neighborhoods more attractive.

The neighborhood was full of modern apartments almost 100 years ago. Now the plan is to turn the nearly 160 apartments around, and build a veteran community.

"There are all kinds of units around here," Executive Director Linda Gens told WKBN News. "They can all be rehabbed and it doesn't take much money."

Iron Soup Historical Preservation is taking the lead on the project, but is getting lots of help. Volunteers cut tiles, raked leaves and painted walls, preparing the run-down apartments for the veterans. American Food Forest and Youngstown Inner City Garden are also helping with the project.

"Our veterans are fighting, dying, getting maimed and everything for us, and they're homeless?" Gens said. "They should be in a home. They should not be on the street somewhere."

All the cabinets, tiles and furniture were donated.

"Pay it forward, paying it forward. You get a lot more in return," Brian Reed said. "We've all been down and out. It's time to help out other people." Reed remodeled the bathroom, putting down tile and moving dry wall. He owns a construction business and didn't charge a penny for any of the work he did.

"Preserve what we've got. That's what all these organizations are trying to do is preserve this back," he said.

Once all the veterans go through the screening process, they'll have a place to call home.

"They're excited about it, they can't wait," Gens said.

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