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One House at a Time

Eltoreon Hawkins, First Participant of Mow to Own
Maria Altman
St. Louis Public Radio
Hawkins was the first person to participate in the city's Mow to Own program, which allows people to eventually get the deed of an abandoned LRA lot they've maintained.

On this episode ...

St. Louis is home to the country's oldest land bank and has thousands of abandoned and vacant homes.

Enter Eltoreon Hawkins, a 20-something trying to change that, one house at a time.

Hawkins always thought he would be a cop. That's how he wanted to serve his community. But he quickly became disillusioned with the criminal justice system he wanted to see reformed. So he's turned his efforts closer to home. specifically, to real estate. And what started out as a plan to secure a future for himself and his family has turned into a mission for this 20-something: taking back his neighborhood.

"If there were an Eltoreon in every neighborhood, we’d be a better city," said Laura Costello, who heads up real estate for the city's land bank.

Also in this episode: folks who think there's a different way to tackle vacancy in the city.

Music in this episode comes from St. Louis producer Trifeckta and New York producer ClassicBeatz.

Alona served as We Live Here's associate producer in 2018.
Kameel Stanley co-hosted and co-produced the We Live Here podcast—covering race, class, power, and poverty in the St. Louis Region—from 2015 to 2018.
Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.

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