Mary moved to North of Broad (NOBO) in the King Lincoln District when she was thirteen years old and called this neighborhood home for a many years. Eventually she did move away as the neighborhood declined. While living in low-income housing in another area of the city, Mary took a free financial education class at Homeport and learned that they were building homes in her old neighborhood.
"I always had aspirations of having a home. It would be 100% better because I was in a small cramped apartment. I had two young children, and I wanted somewhere to raise my children – where they could grow up and make memories."
Mary's dream came true when she purchased her very own home in NOBO. She now lives next door to her mother and the house she grew up in, and her first grade teacher lives down the street. Mary purchased Homeport's very first home in the North of Broad neighborhood, which gave her a front row seat to the revitalization of the area.
According to Mary, most of the people who previously lived here were older and had passed away – leaving homes abandoned and making room for "some not-so-nice things in the community." Since Homeport began working here the street has been beautified, new homes are bringing more working-class people to the neighborhood, and the community is being restored. Neighbors know one another and talk together. One day, Mary accidentally left her garage door open and her neighbor called to let her know. "I feel like I have someone looking out for me," said Mary. Not only has Mary connected with her community but so have her children. Many new families moved in to the area with children. For the first time, her kids have friends to play with in a safe place where she knows her neighbors are helping to keep an eye on them.
"We feel safe and comfortable. I like looking out my door and seeing new homes. I just love the neighborhood and the way it's grown." ~Mary