Monday, November 26, 2007

Catching up: Paint Your Heart Out, and what it has done for us

Our neighborhood has been actively working to improve itself for years, and one of our primary tools has been Paint Your Heart Out. Most of you are familiar with it, but probably haven't seen the before and after shots.

For those who aren't familiar: Paint Your Heart Out is an annual volunteer project where we gather volunteers (as many as 300) for one hard day of work repainting older homes in our neighborhood that need a quick facelift. It involves a lot of planning, and preparation work by the owners, and has been assisted by the staff and energy of Neighborhood Housing Services of Provo, our local non-profit which works for revitalizing Provo's Pioneer neighborhoods.

In our neighborhood, this process began back in 2000, when we put it to the test. The results have been exciting ever since. We did take one year off to do a "Plant Your Heart Out." Most of the homes we've done have been owner occupied, but a few eyesore rentals have been tackled. Often, home-owners receive the paint at cost, or free depending upon income. We have a couple homes on the itinerary already for summer 2008. We could possibly add more.

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about Paint Your Heart Out is the effect it seems to have on houses that are close to project houses. Within a year, the new paint seems to spread. Call it the "keeping up with the Joneses" phenomena, or a realization that this is a neighborhood worth investing in. Enjoy the photos!