Hope House aims to pay it forward in historic Vincennes neighborhood

Three Nails Project

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – The Three Nails Project, a Vincennes based not-for-profit agency, began work Monday on a dilapidated home in an historic neighborhood a few blocks from the county courthouse.

The house, which was donated, would serve as the agency’s first “Hope House.”

Agency staffers explained the idea behind a Hope House is to grow community interaction by home owners, or in this case, home tenants paying it forward around the neighborhood. Bob Morrison, The Three Nails Project director, was on hand Tuesday as a crew of roughly 50 people worked on the Buntin Street home.

“It’s a dream a come true, 5 years we’ve hoped to do this,” said Morrison.

Morrison noted he based this project on an example he heard about in Detroit. In that case, a family moved into a crime-ridden neighborhood, and grew community interaction by doing random acts of kindness. Morrison said that in the Detroit neighborhood, high school graduation rates rose, while crime rates dropped.

While graduation and crime rates will surely feel the impact of the in-progress Vincennes Hope House, more notably, the efforts will lead to beautification of the neighborhood. The home tenants will not be required to pay a cash rent, but rather, volunteer services.

“They are really expected to get out and know every single person on this block, do random acts of kindness on a daily basis,” Morrison described.

Morrison stated the tenants would participate in: “Everything from weed eating, gardens, mowing painting, cleaning out gutters, whatever it might be” as just a few acts of kindness that would help them earn their stay. All three of the tenants are also volunteers with Morrison’s agency.

When finished, Morrison estimated the house, which has sat vacant for at least five years, would hold a value of around $80,000. Crews forecast having the project complete within a month.



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