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Area law enforcement officers, Illinois State University men's basketball players and Home Depot employees help about 80 local children build wood projects during the Projects with a Cop event in September 2017 at the Jefferson Street Community House in Bloomington. The house will close but be offered for sale to a new homeowner once rehab work is completed.

BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington’s Jefferson Street Community House will someday be the new home for a deserving resident or family looking to set down long-term roots in Bloomington, say officials with Mid Central Community Action.

“That has always been the intended purpose for it,” said MCCA Executive Director Deb White.

Through a joint collaboration between the Bloomington Police Department, MCCA and the West Bloomington Housing Collaborative two years ago, the house was converted into a community house, a place where west side residents and Bloomington Police could build stronger community relations.

The house was one of 13 acquired by MCCA, using state grant money specifically designed for rehabbing distressed properties through the attorney general's office. Through an agreement, the BPD leased the property for $1 per month.

“It really served its purpose during that time,” said Mark Kotte, the director of resource and community development for MCCA. “We feel from the feedback we have received, the neighbors did have the opportunity to build and improve relationships with the police department and that was the goal for that project from the start.”

The Bloomington Police Department hosted various events at the house since it opened in June 2017. Since then, there were 630 attendees at 21 different events, with 39 volunteers performing 431 hours of community service, White said.

“One resident told us, ‘The work they have done goes beyond these four walls, and we don’t need the walls anymore,’” White said.

Work will continue on rehabbing the home for a future homeowner, White added. A shower needs to be installed, but the city already made the home ADA compliant, and it has a wheelchair ramp and a wider door for any resident who might use a wheelchair.

Once the rehab work is done, it will be available for sale, but that isn’t expected to be until later this summer.

“We are still completing the analysis on what the listing price will be,” she said.

Anyone interested in the property or any of the other properties available, should contact MCCA’s HUD certified housing counselor/lead financial coach Kathy Shubert at 309 834-9242 or email her at the Kathy Shubert, financial coach and housing 834-9242 or kathys@mccainc.org.

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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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