A Safe & Sound Home
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Robert and Nicole Ingvalson have discovered that a safe & sound home creates so much more than just a roof over their head. The recent completion of some major home repairs, made possible by funding through GROW South Dakota and NeighborWorks America/Wells Fargo’s Safe and Sound Initiative, prompted the couple to state, “There is so much less stress in our lives knowing that these things are taken care of; the furnace and water heater are so much more efficient. We will definitely save money on propane use and electricity this winter. No more worrying about how we can possibly afford to have the house shingled. No deciding between things we need for us or the kids and things that need to get done on the house.”
GROW South Dakota knows that when families like the Ingvalson’s are living in a safe & sound home:
- Healthy habits take root more easily.
- Children learn and achieve more in school.
- Families recharge for work or school, so they can better engage with others.
- We take pride in our community and make it a safer place to live.
- People of all income levels have more to spend and support the local economy.
In 2011, Robert Ingvalson owned a successful health club in Fargo. His wife, Nicole, was an education coordinator at Meritcare Health. They owned a nice home and had welcomed their first daughter into the world. But sometimes what appears to be an ideal life, just halts.
The recession was taking a toll on Robert’s business and his family was slowly sinking into debt. The young family made a decision to make a change before they got into debt over their heads and moved to South Dakota to be closer to family. With a little help from family, the Ingvalson’s were able to buy a 100 year old house. Robert stated, “It took two years of hard work, our retirement savings, and a lot of help from family, but we finally turned that 100 year old house into our home, and in time we planned to complete some of the larger home projects.”
Things were looking up for the Ingvalson family in 2013. Robert was offered a new job as a manager for a soil sampling company. Their family was expanding with the anticipation of their second child. Their financial situation had improved so that Nicole could stay at home with the two children and fulfill her dream of starting an at-home bakery business. But again, what sometimes appears to be an ideal life, just halted.
The Ingvalson’s oldest daughter was in need of a surgery to correct a genetic abnormality in her hand and the cost was substantial. Then, at the age of 32, Nicole suffered a heart attack. The medical bills that followed these two events were more than they could handle. Again, any home improvement projects they were working on stopped.
But in 2015, the Ingvalson’s were the perfect match for GROW South Dakota’s Safe and Sound rural home rehab program. GROW South Dakota, in partnership with NeighborWorks America and Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, was awarded a $128,500 grant. These funds were designated to support the rehabilitation of seven (7) owner-occupied single family rural homes with moderate to severe repair needs. These home improvements seek to permanently reduce energy bills for homeowners and make the homes safer, healthier and more energy efficient. The Ingvalson’s home received new shingles on their roof, a new furnace and HVAC system, a new water heater, and updated electric wiring throughout the house. Recently, the Ingvalson’s were able to save enough to purchase new siding for their home as well and with a little more sweat equity and the help of some family, they should be finished with their most recent home improvement project soon.
“While we are encouraged to see improvement in many rural housing markets; sustainable and affordable housing continues to be a critical need in communities of all sizes that we serve. GROW South Dakota understands we can’t solve these challenges on our own and when the public and private sector work together it can really add up to make a huge difference for the community,” stated Kristin Hofland, GROW South Dakota Safe & Sound Program Coordinator. “Helping a family like the Ingvalson’s to have a safe & sound home accomplishes our mission of serving people’s needs to promote community excellence.”
Category: Success Stories