PEORIA - Erik Reader is on a mission to rejuvenate a bleak part of town, and he's turning to the community for help.
The old house on the 600 block of Voris St. is in shambles. There are holes in the walls, and it definitely needs cleaning. Unfortunately, the house is like many others on Peoria's near north side, and that doesn't sit well Reader.
"I look at this area being so close to the river, downtown, you know great parks and all that sort of thing, and you just get frustrated, wondering when it is ever going to change," he said.
So he's starting an online campaign, called "Go Urban" to rejuvenate this community, starting with this house.
"Part of it's to raise the awareness and the consciousness that we can't just keep turning a blind eye on these sorts of things anymore," said Reader. "So we have to take it little by little and this is kind of the first step in that."
With the help of the internet, he's asking the community to lend a hand with rebuilding homes like this. He paid $5,000 for the home, but he's hoping people can help match that amount to get the ball rolling.
"The whole idea is to try to raise some of the funds. If I came with a huge check that I'm wanting it wouldn't fly. I'm prepared to do a lot of the leg work," he said.
But he's hoping people will jump on board. In a couple of months, he sees someone moving into the home on Voris. He envisions them living comfortably as owners, not renters. And that's only a foot in the door.
"It's to try to show that the sidewalks are bad. The curbs are bad. The streets could be better. You know we do have a lot of negatives here. But for me that's where the possibilities begin," said Reader.
Reader expects it will cost at least $15,000 to renovate the home.