By Judy Reed
A house that had seen better days is now making space for something new.
When The Springs Church, located at the corner of Oak and Grant Streets, began to buy the older homes on the block so they could expand their parking to accommodate growth, the house at 95 E. Maple was the only holdout. When the landlord decided to sell it a few years ago, the church went ahead and bought it, although they had finished their parking lot. Since then, the house has been put to good use.
There were renters in both sides of the duplex, but those on the east side soon moved out. The church, who has a heart for serving the community, turned the east side of the house into the Embrace Home, a short-term transition home for moms that need to get back on their feet. The moms had to fill out an application and agree to an action plan. They also received counseling and coaching from local missions Pastor Cherri’ Kerr. The church helped several families in crisis get a hand up this way.
For the last year, The Springs’ new youth pastor, Chris Anton, lived in the house while waiting to get married.
When the renters on the west side moved out this year, the church had to make a decision on what to do with the home—renovate it or tear it down as originally planned? Things started to go wrong with the home, and improvements were going to be costly.
“It would cost too much to bring it up to code to rent,” explained Senior Pastor Barry Briggs. “It really needed a lot of work. We decided it was better to bring it down and turn it into something good for the kids and community.”
The area has now been graded and seeded, and a new sidewalk put in. “I’d like to see hard benches, a picnic table, maybe playground equipment,” explained Briggs.