60th Street Duplex Renovation or “The Joel Romeo Project”
Local businesses step up to help
Renovating a garage into a studio apartment with a separate entrance is an expensive and time consuming job. Fortunately, these local business owners have demonstrated their commitment to creating inclusive affordable housing in their community. Combined with financial support from Parkview Services, local foundations and the many donors who raised over $22,000 for Joel through his gofundme, this project is possible, and Joel will have a home for as long as he wishes to stay. Beyond Joel, this studio serves as an affordable housing rental for decades to come for other low-income people with disabilities.
Since Fall 2016, Max Wallace, Parkview Services, The Arc of King County, Provail and numerous community friends and supporters have been working to create a new home for Ballard resident Joel Romeo.
Joel is a man in his late 60’s who has lived in Ballard for close to 30 years. He loves rock music, karaoke, creating art and hanging with his many, many friends. Joel is also a person with autism and extremely low-income. He was evicted from his rental home of 20 years last summer, and his best friend Max sprung into action. Max started a gofundme campaign that has raised over $22,000, intended to help Joel transition into a new permanent home.
Joel loves Ballard, and Ballard loves Joel, and so the goal has been find to him a safe, high quality, affordable and long-term rental in the area. This task has proven difficult, given the current rental market. After he was first evicted, Joel was living in a hotel room on Aurora, because it was all he could afford.
Joel’s service providers, The Arc of King County and Provail, came together with Parkview Services and worked with Max to develop a plan to renovate an existing Parkview AHP home into a duplex with a studio for Joel to live in. The three organizations worked together to place Joel in temporary affordable housing in Shoreline at one of Parkview’s existing AHP homes, so he wouldn’t have to live in a hotel during the construction phase. Joel’s care providers continue to work with him and his friends have helped keep him connected to his community in Ballard as he’s temporarily displaced.
The studio is nearing it’s completion, with a goal for Joel to move in on October 1st. The new place is just blocks from his old home, and will mean he can stay connected to his community, where he is a beloved friend to many.
Here are some current photos of the space. Skilled professionals are working to complete the project, and soon Rebuilding Together Seattle’s amazing crew of volunteers will be out to help us with framing.
we still need Your help!
If you would like to contribute to this project financially or in-kind, we really need more support. We’ve encountered some unexpected problems over the past few months that have set us over budget. In order to finish on time, we need more $ and can use your help if you are skilled in construction trades. We also need donations of materials and installation for the following:
Specific items needed as of 8/11/2017:
300+ SF laminate flooring or engineered hardwood
Drywall Primer & Interior Paint
Base & Case
Fiberglass insulation for walls and floors