CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - “We were absolutely completely done. The property was ready for someone to move in as soon as next week if you will,” said Brian Moore.
Moore is the head of Passages, the non-profit fixing up a previously abandoned home on East 100th Street in Cleveland.
The group invested $40,000 in the home.
Now, a lot of money will have to be invested a second time, including $6,000 for a new furnace and water heater which were stolen.
In the basement, mangled duct work shows that the thievery was done in a hurry.
Luckily a live gas line had a shutoff. The thieves used it to shut off the gas. If not, the gas could have built up and the house would have exploded.
The thieves jimmied a security door to get inside, ruining the molding and even stealing the door.
Inside, a security system was destroyed. A new, higher technology system was being installed on Tuesday.
“We ultimately want to make sure we have safe, affordable housing for people and we’re not going to be discouraged by the actions of a few,” added Moore.
The larger story is the impact thieves like this have on a neighborhood. This is one where turning the abandoned home into one housing a family really can make a difference. Plus, the rent paid is used to fund the next rehab.
Folks on the block know that all too well.
“This is the neighborhood. This is our neighborhood. We’d like for it to stop,” said a neighbor on his way to work.
A lot of people would be discouraged by something like this, and Moore says that was the case, but only for the first few houses.
Then came the turning point.
“We met and we said we’re going to get it done. So you can see some of the rehabilitation work is getting done even today, and more importantly, we’ve gotten an outpouring of support from people.”
With resolve like that, a bad beginning is sure to be a joyful ending.