North side resident Rik Blake, joined by about two dozen neighborhood and community members spent their Saturday working on his new home, which he recently purchased from Craigslist, only to find it completely uninhabitable.
JESSICA M. KANALAS | THE VINDICATOR..Blake, despite his dirty hands, makes sure he opens every card and reads every message sent his way. Here a couple from Lisbon sent over two cases of bottled water and a card with sentiments for blessing a new home.
JESSICA M. KANALAS | THE VINDICATOR..Blake and volunteer Connie Lauderdale, who helped organize the work day, stand in the backyard where volunteers from the community came to clean up despite the brisk wind and cold temperatures.
JESSICA M. KANALAS | THE VINDICATOR..Friends of Fido, a group of volunteer dog walkers at the Mahoning County Dog Pound and Adoption Center, was just one of the dozens of donations Blake received to start his new life in Youngstown.
JESSICA M. KANALAS | THE VINDICATOR..Blake uses one of his four bedrooms on the second floor to store all of the community's donations. He said he has more than enough and can't believe the goodness of the people in the area.
JESSICA M. KANALAS | THE VINDICATOR..Ron Major of the North side replaces windows on the second floor of Blake's new home. Major works for Youngstown Contracting which donated their workers time to come out and help the crew fix up the new house on Saturday.
JESSICA M. KANALAS | THE VINDICATOR..Taylor Benton and her boyfriend, John Moore of Youngstown load garbage and debris into a wheel barrel during a clean-up day held at Blake's home on Lora Ave. The two were standing where his collapsed garage used to lay only a few days ago.