Names of family members: Ryan, Dawn, Hannah, Ellie, Aiden, Rachel & Lydia
Occupation(s): Ryan is the Central/Southern Illinois Director for Safe Families for Children and Dawn is the Parent Educator at McClernand Elementary School and works for SIU School of Medicine as a Community Health Worker during the summer developing youth programs
When did you move to Enos Park? December of 2012
What drew you to the neighborhood? We were living on the west side of town but heard about the land bank in Enos Park and had the opportunity to purchase a distressed house at nominal cost from Enos Park Development. We saw all of the renovation work being done to the homes, and we felt God called us to join that and to be a part of helping renovate the neighborhood spiritually and relationally simply by loving our neighbors with the love that Jesus loved us with.
What kind of activities have you gotten involved in around the neighborhood? We have volunteered with everything…events, clean ups, the community garden and other programs. We both have served on the Board, and Dawn was vice president for a couple years. Ryan ran Rock the Block in 2015. Dawn developed and oversaw the Enos Park Bicycle Club and other youth programs that started last year. Dawn also runs a neighborhood-wide Vacation Bible School. Together, we’ve hosted a neighborhood Bible study in our home as well as some outdoor worship gatherings. We also created Trunk-or-Treat, a neighborhood-wide, family friendly, faith based Halloween party, that partners with the neighborhood and other local organizations and churches that drew nearly 300 people this past year.
Was your house move in ready? Our home was NOT move in ready! We had to gut many rooms, lay new flooring, paint everything, build new rooms, put on a new roof and run new electric, plumbing and HVAC.
What projects have you completed since moving in, or have planned for the near future? The biggest thing we’ve completed since living here (well, aside from the entire second floor…that wasn’t done when we moved in!) is to relocate our garage. We poured a new pad and moved the garage back about 30 feet toward the alley, more than doubling our backyard space. We also replaced 21 windows. Our immediate next projects are to rehab a couple of the bedrooms, remove all the metal railings on our front porch and replace with wood and to begin to remove our metal siding to restore the original wood siding.
Did you do any of the work yourself? We’ve done all of the carpentry, drywall and painting ourselves and with friends. We contracted the electric, plumbing, HVAC and roofing.
Any advice for someone contemplating a move to the neighborhood and/or a renovation project? First, an encouragement…all the hard work is worth it! You’ll have a pride in your home that you won’t find anywhere else. Also, what we need alongside a renovated home are positive and active neighbors. It’s the people that make Enos Park what it is and it’s the people that will move us forward. We’d love for you to be our neighbor!
What’s your favorite thing about living in Enos Park? We truly love our beautiful old home (and all of the beautiful old homes), the forward movement we’re doing as a neighborhood, having the Art Association in the neighborhood, our closeness to downtown, and most of all, our neighbors. There are great people that live here.
A few years ago we bought another home just a couple doors down from us from the land bank that we renovated for Ryan’s parents. It was a big project as well…we gutted about 2/3’s of the house and installed new electric, plumbing, HVAC and built a back porch. As they were getting older, we wanted to have them close, rather than living out of state. They moved in August of 2015. Sadly, Ryan’s dad passed away in May 2016. But Mom is with us and helps a lot with the kids, and also has volunteered with helping with the summer youth programs and serving meals that the neighborhood churches host.