I figured I would shake things up a bit here tonight and throw some positive stories at you guys. First up is a Frankford veterans' home that will get a heart-warming makeover:
A ruckus will be raised on a tiny block in Frankford in the not-too-distant future when the home-improvement wizards from HGTV come to town.
Their mission: To give a much-needed makeover to a rickety rowhouse on Romain Street near Womrath that provides transitional shelter to military veterans.
The three-bedroom property, known by vets simply as the Romain House, was one of two veterans’ group homes that won a national vote last month for HGTV’s “Change the World. Start at Home” community-revitalization campaign.
HGTV will pour about $40,000 worth of renovations and improvements into the Romain House and a veterans’ home in St. Louis, Mo., the network said.
Veterans stay at the Romain House for about a year while they get their lives in order, then move on to permanent housing, said John Tomosky, the American Legion’s 1st District commander. (The house is run by the Legion’s Housing for Homeless Corp.)
“It’s nice when people step up for veterans and their community. That house definitely needs a makeover,” Tomosky said.
The Philly makeover, which will include a new kitchen, bathroom and energy-efficiency upgrades, will be filmed in late June and air on HGTV in October, said HGTV host Carter Oosterhouse.
“We’ll give the house the touches it needs to be more functional, but also more inviting,” Oosterhouse said.
And then there's short tale of Philly cop who's doing big things -- in the military:
Gregory Stevens won’t be showing up to his regular job anytime soon.
It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy working as a cop in South Philadelphia’s 17th District. He’s just a little busy these days.
Stevens, an Army Reservist who has 19 years of military experience, was recently selected to run the Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa.
The new gig came with a promotion — Stevens went from a military policeman with the rank of first sergeant to sergeant major — and some hefty responsibilities.
Stevens, 39, is in charge of 83 soldiers, more than 1,500 civilians and hundreds of government contractors who work at Letterkenny repairing tactical missiles, radar equipment and Humvees that are used in overseas war zones.
“The job was available and I was hand-selected. I guess the pickings were slim,” Stevens joked.
The eight-year Philadelphia police veteran was on leave for much of last year, when he divided time between Kuwait and Letterkenny.
Stevens’ new job will require him to be away from Philly and his wife, Virginia, an attorney, for an additional year. The couple’s daughter, Gabriella, 4, lives with Stevens out near the army depot.