CLEVELAND — The only thing that stands out about Star Ingram's new house on West 129th Street is that compared to the others, it just needs a little love.
On Friday, Cleveland Police Officers volunteered their time knocking down the walls between an affordable home and Star Ingram.
A heart with the American Flag hangs on the porch.
"It's the most amazing thing, of anything like ever in my whole life that I can even imagine," said Ingram.
Star has spent the last year at Laura's Home Women's Crisis Center, run by The City Mission, learning how to live independently. She moved to Cleveland from Detroit, but couldn't find a consistent place to live with her three young kids.
Ingram's children will have a consistent place to go to school for the first time once they move into the house this summer.
She's lived in low-income housing before, but she says that's not where she wants her kids to be.
"I never would hang a picture on the wall because it was never mine," said Ingram. "With this home, it'll be the first time that I'll actually hang a picture on the wall, so I'm going to take full advantage of that.
The garage behind the home will be torn down as part of the renovation work.
After the renovation work is done in a few months, Ingram and her kids will move into the home, thanks to The City Mission's New Horizon Program.
"The program started in 2014 when we saw that there was a huge gap in affordable housing for the single moms that were graduating from our Laura's Home program," said The City Mission Community Development Coordinator Ashley Field.
A sign hangs on the window saying the home is owned by the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.
Field says women like Star go through a year of counseling and classes to help put their lives back together and learn to live outside the center.
To give them a place to go, The City Mission buys properties from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank for just $1. Donors raise the roughly $50,000 needed to fix up the homes, giving families like Ingram's a new start while also fixing up eyesores on otherwise nice blocks.
Ingram's new home is set to be finished so she and her kids can move in to start the school year.
"We are selecting neighborhoods that have been hit by the foreclosure crisis or this home was abandoned for years," said Field.
Ingram will have to pay about $200 every month for about two years, covering the cost of additional counseling she'll get from The City Mission. If everything goes well after that, the home is transferred to her, free and clear.
"It's a sign of stability ," said Ingram. "Something that they're going to have forever and I don't have to worry about moving from one place to another anymore."
Ingram's kids will have a consistent place to go to school and she'll finally have a place to hang that picture.
"A family photo," said Ingram. "Me and all my children."
This story is part of A Better Land , an ongoing series that investigates Northeast Ohio's deep-seated systemic problems. Additionally, it puts a spotlight on the community heroes fighting for positive change in Cleveland and throughout the region. If you have an idea for A Better Land story, tell us here .