Shootings and murders tend to dominate the news headlines in some Cincinnati neighborhoods and the law-abiding majority in Avondale is tired of it. That's why FOX19 searched for something positive that's improving life in the community of 16,000. It didn't take long to find it.
Theresa Poole, A UC Hospital housekeeper saved for 20 years while living in public housing, just for a taste of the American home ownership dream. Now, the sign on the front door of a house on Alaska Avenue says welcome home to Theresa and her five children.
Thaddeus Dawson wants to be a life-changer. He built the $200,000 Avondale home that Theresa paid much less for. It was Dawson's first project and it took 18 months. But the next ones won't. His newly formed Ca-Josh Company develops homes and lives. Dawson calls it, "A win-win for everybody. We got to build a house and sell it, she got to move into a house and change her life for her family and change a neighborhood."
Thaddeus, a commercial realtor by trade, is tired of seeing run-down and empty lots in Avondale and he's doing something about it. He's blending together federal empowerment zone money, city tax breaks, and counseling at Cincinnati's Home Ownership Center into opportunities for people who think they could never afford to own a home. Dawson says, "It's not just about the homeowner it's about everybody in the neighborhood as a whole, moving forward."
14 new $100,000 to $200,000 homes are planned off Washington Avenue behind the Catherine Booth Hospital site. There will be seven more near the corner of Eden and Forest. "I think we're really going to make some significant strides in the Avondale community over the next couple of years," says Dawson.
A prime example: construction will begin in days on a former crack house across the street from Rockdale Elementary. Thaddeus found out about the crack house from a group of fifth graders at the school who wrote the Mayor.