(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
It’s an exciting time for Rebekah Myer.
She just got the keys to her new home in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood.
Myer is giving a tour of her house Wednesday. As she walks the halls and up the staircase, she explains what the empty rooms will eventually look like.
“What we’re going to do here is move some stuff around,” explains Myer as she points to one of the bedroom floors.
It’s a much different layout than what it looked like just a couple of months ago.
“It was pretty crazy when we showed up,” said Myer. “We saw a ton of people and a lot of stuff in the yard.”
The property was a disaster.
It was so bad that Spokane Neighborhood Resource Officer, Traci Ponto, worked with a judge to abate the property. Everyone was kicked out, and the former owner faced punishment.
“He had three trailers set up throughout the yard that people were living in,” said Officer Ponto. “We had a meth arrest, we found heroin, a whole gambit of things.”
The chronic nuisance home wasn’t the ideal situation for Myer to walk into, but she's not doing this alone.
After hearing that Officer Ponto passed out Walmart gift cards to families in need this past Christmas, Total Security Owner, Mike Crouse, wanted to help pay it forward.
“I was a victim of burglary in this community in 1994,” said Crouse. “A police officer told me to get an alarm system.”
Crouse asked Officer Ponto what homeowner in the West Central neighborhood could use an alarm system.
“What better way of saying welcome to West Central?” said Officer Ponto. “We want you to make your home here.”
The $1,000 alarm system was installed on Wednesday. Crouse says the home can’t be entered without Myer being notified.
“They're invested in this house so we want to give them something to have peace of mind,” said Crouse. “They don’t have to be home, they can be anywhere they have cellular service or WiFi.”
Crouse says with Officer Ponto’s help, he plans to install one alarm system a month for someone who needs it.
“We’re in the West Central community, I live in the West Central community,” said Crouse. “I want people to feel safe.”
As for Officer Ponto, it will be her role to find the families who need a security system the most.
“The quality of life issue alone makes me speechless,” said Officer Ponto. “People weren’t going out in their yards, working in their yards, or letting their kids in the yards. But now it’s different. Property values around here are going to go up because this house has brought property values down in the past.”