Today on ReInvention Stories, we'll visit Five Oaks, a neighborhood northwest of downtown Dayton. Five Oaks has been in decline for 25 years, and plagued with crime. Since 2008, home foreclosures have been rampant and vacant properties are common.
Some Five Oaks residents have dedicated themselves to their community's reinvention, and they're working with the city to bring their neighborhood back. Tad Erichsen and John Footh are recent transplants to Five Oaks, who are reinventing themselves along the way.
Beginning today, WYSO brings you the second season of ReInvention Stories, profiles of Daytonians who are reinventing themselves and their communities. Last year, in season one, we heard stories from South Park Belmont, Twin Towers and Residence Park. This year we’ll visit Old North Dayton and Five Oaks – plus the western suburb of Trotwood.
We’ll find out how people are coping with ongoing changes in the local economy and learn about the dreams they have for themselves and their neighborhoods.
Valerie and DeMarcus Calhoun moved to Dayton from Montgomery, Alabama in August of 2011 and rented a home in South Park. Valerie is a civilian working for the Air Force at Wright Patterson. She went to Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama - and while studying there, she joined a student fellowship program - working and training at the local air force base. After graduation, the Air Force offered her a job. She could move to Boston, or to Dayton. All she had to do was convince her husband, Demarcus.
General Motors started manufacturing trucks in Dayton in 1951. Fifty-seven years later, GM closed its Moraine Assembly plant and over two thousand people lost their jobs - including Debbie Bradley of Fairborn. After 13 years at GM, Bradley started hearing rumors. GM was struggling. The plant might close. Bradley wanted to have a Plan B. So she took a placement test at Sinclair Community College.
This week on ReInvention Stories we meet Shane Anderson, owner of Ghostlight Coffee on Wayne Avenue in Dayton's South Park neighborhood.
In high school, Anderson dreamed of becoming a band director, which, he did. Anderson was a band director and music teacher for fourteen years. Most of that time was spent at Miami East High School and Vandalia-Butler High School. But he had another dream, of one day running a coffee shop. And he wanted to quit teaching before getting too burnt out.