DETROIT (Talk Radio 1270) Detroit Police Officer Dieasaree Curry had no idea what was coming next.
The single mother of three walked into a gorgeous four-bedroom brick home in Detroit’s University District expecting one thing and got quite another when she discovered she wasn’t just visiting someone else’s home, she was walking into her own home.
Curry had won a home giveaway contest from MHT Housing and Re/Max.
“We were looking for a hero and we found a hero,” said Talk Radio 1270 host Charlie Langton. Talk Radio 1270 helped find a recipient for the home giveaway.
So how did Curry take the news?
“It’s unbelievable, I can’t even explain it, this is such a great new beginning for my children and I and I’m so grateful to everybody for the support,” she said. “My co-workers, they were all rooting for me. It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”
Curry is a 13-year veteran of the force who says she’s been shot at “a few times,” but loves the challenge of her job. She’s also a single mother to three children, who are 10, 4 and 1.
“All Detroit Police Officers are great people and we work very, very hard,” Curry said.
And the neighbors couldn’t be more excited either. Curry said they chatted her up for two hours after she got the keys — and some even offered to help her move in.
MHT spokeswoman Krystal Covington said they were delighted to award the house to Curry. “We’re a nonprofit organization and we often do programs to benefit the community and this is one of those programs,” Covington said.
MHT President Dan Fox conceived the idea of helping an individual — and a neighborhood — by taking a foreclosed home, sprucing it up, and awarding it to a deserving person. The company bought the house last August and fixed it up all winter with the help of volunteers.
“It was a group effort, we purchased the house and did a lot of the work, but we had several sponsors and volunteers, suppliers and vendors who came together and said ‘You’re giving away a house and you need help?’ Sure,” Covington said.
The home had great bones, she added, but had a laundry list of necessary improvements before it could shine again, including new kitchen cabinets, appliances, floors, a roof, paint, landscaping, and structural improvements.
Dozens of people applied for the house giveaway and Covington said it wasn’t easy to choose just one, especially among the four finalists. But in the end, they chose the person who most seemed to love Detroit.
Covington showed up Monday night thinking she was just attending a final interview along with other finalists when she found out she was in fact the winner.
“She’s just so passionate about her job and the city,” Covington said. “The house was in foreclosure, it had been sitting for almost a year, it would’ve been an abandoned house with boarded up windows. We took a house that was empty and put somebody awesome in it, somebody passionate who cares about the city.”
MHT Housing maintains low-income housing through southeast Michigan, connecting people in need with Section 8 properties.