• Common Roots

Keeping you up-to-date

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Wondering what we've been up to?

Hello all!

This is the first of what will be many Common Roots blog posts to keep you all up-to-date on our progress.

We’ve been busy since our inception in 2016: like receiving our nonprofit status in 2017 and purchasing our first property on South Main Street in Meadville in late 2018.

Since taking over ownership of 1189-91 South Main, we have gutted the house down to the studs in all but one unit. We also have had an energy efficiency expert stop by to help us design efficient and sustainable utilities systems. Blueprints of our new vision for the floorplan have been drawn up.

Apart from planning, much of our time spent on the house has been on demolition: tearing down walls, taking out chimneys, brick-by-brick pulling up unpleasant old flooring, pulling out insulation, discovering mummified birds in the walls, that sort of thing.

Since this is Common Roots’ first house, we have been learning the timeline as we go. We’re excitedly working each day to make the house livable again.

The plan is to rent out 1189-91 South Main Street as three one-room apartments. Pending zoning approval, the fourth unit in the house will serve as a community meeting area.

1189-91 South Main Street is just the beginning.

Thanks to donations — we were blown away by the generosity of the public, which provided $50,000 in two weeks to allow us to purchase and begin work at the South Main house — we’re on our way to our long-term goal of supporting thriving, vibrant neighborhoods where residents work together to meet their needs. We’re working to realize this vision by creating energy-efficient, community-based affordable housing.

The Common Roots model starts with donations and investments from the community that allow us to purchase a blighted property. Once we transform the property — right now, 1189-91 South Main Street — into new living spaces, the rent generated means that we can purchase and rehabilitate another property! Not only are we providing safe, dignified and affordable places to live, we're also generating more revenue to rehabilitate more homes, We think this is an exciting innovation for a solidarity economy in Meadville.

Roughly 1,000 volunteer hours and counting have been contributed to renovating 1189-91 South Main Street!

What’s next?

We’re awaiting approval to construct new walls and beams for the restructuring of the building.

Then, we plan on tearing down the dilapidated back porch and building a double-decker back porch.

A future blog post will include more details regarding our double-decker porch plans.

You can play a part in our future, too! Joining Common Roots costs just $10. Or learn more while having some fun at one of our events, like the Homey Awards (home movies about why Meadville's home) in April and the Pumpkin Block Party in October. Search “Common Roots” on Facebook or check back on this blog for more information on those events as they develop.

You can help by chipping in whatever you can monthly, or by becoming an angel donor to sponsor the renovation of a specific aspect of 1189-91 South Main Street. Shoot us an email about what you'd like to fund!

More information is available on this website, commonrootspa.com. You also can email hello@commonrootspa.com to learn more or to participate in our projects!

See ya next time!

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