Making a House Their Home
Valerie Wilson remembers moving day. It was September 25th and there was a lot to do. As program coordinator for the home, Valerie was in charge of making sure that the belongings of Becky, Charlene and Martha all arrived in the brand new home. She oversaw the task of making sure that everything found its proper place. There were many details to blending the lives of three women into a new household. Yet, that was the easy part. Valerie’s real work began in helping the ladies feel comfortable in their new home and with each other as they formed a new family.
Set on a corner lot across from a park, the new house is friendly and inviting, with a wreath on the door and chairs on a front porch. Beautifully designed by South Bend Heritage architect Pat Lynch and constructed by Place Builders, this house is not your average home.
At first glance, the attention to detail strikes you. Warm colors paint the walls, setting off woodwork, moldings, floorings and doors that are tastefully and carefully crafted. What one might notice next are the wide doorways, hallways, kitchen area and accessible shower. The side patio and front porch are flush to the inside flooring so that the women can easily access the outdoor area. Having lived in far less accessible places, Becky, Charlene and Martha appreciate these features that help them navigate their new home. Into their senior years and with mobility issues, accessibility is vital to the quality of life for these ladies.
But the uniqueness of this home does not stop with these decorative and accessible features. The untrained eye may not notice other amenities that offer top energy efficiency. It is truly a ‘green home’. Energy-efficient amenities include super insulation, triple pane windows and a ventilation energy recovery system that pumps fresh air into the home as new air is heated by stale air being removed from the home.
As a former Realtor, Marijane Hudson, Charlene’s sister, applauds the quality and uniqueness of this home. “This house is wonderfully done with a beautiful craftsman style design,” she says. “The overall attention to detail is marvelous and there are a lot of extra nuances. All the details for accessibility are great for the ladies. And, this is a very energy efficient house—you should see the insulating blanket that wraps around the basement. This was a very good move and will pay for itself with energy costs in the long run.”
Marijane is thankful not only that her sister has the opportunity to live in such a home, but even more so for the staff that support Charlene: “My sister does not take change well. This move was difficult for her but she has adjusted well because of the LOGAN staff that work with her. Valerie has particularly been a constant for Charlene. I am very grateful for her.”
So how was it that such an amazing home was built for LOGAN? It was the result of a partnership between LOGAN, South Bend Heritage, the City of South Bend and the Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization. Each partner is thrilled with the outcome. This house is one of the first newly constructed buildings in South Bend that goes beyond ‘eco-friendly’. Plus, the LOGAN ladies are happily settled in their beautiful home in a welcoming neighborhood.
Becky, Charlene and Martha may not fully realize the behind-the-scenes work that went into building this house. Yet they do realize that they are blessed to have such a wonderful place to call their home.