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  • Writer's pictureNeighborLink Indianapolis

Meet Leonard

Leonard Banks has the most amazing stories. He has recorded music with John Mellenkamp (who he says is a very nice guy), stumbled upon technological marvels in unexpected places (I’m sworn to secrecy on this one), and has worked as a contractor here in Indy for over 30 years.

Leonard has many remarkable stories, but one of the most remarkable is of the first time he saw his house. He grew up in the neighborhood he lives in now and remembers the house being built.

“I rode by on my bike with a couple of other kids,” said Leonard. “We stopped to look at the construction and I said ‘I’m going to buy that house one day.’”

He kept that childhood promise and has lived in his dream house for 32 years.

A few years ago, Leonard sustained an injury which left him paralyzed from the neck down. He has regained some mobility since then, but continues to struggle with new challenges caused by his injury. He contacted NeighborLink for some basic home repairs and for help making his home easier for him to navigate. Ultimately, he wants to keep his home in good condition to be able to stay there and maintain his independence.

“I don’t want to be placed somewhere else,” Leonard reflected, “but there are things around the house that I can’t do since my accident.”

For Leonard, the risk of not being able to stay in his house is a real one. His neighborhood is seeing a new wave of investment and interest, which Leonard is glad about. He’s happy to see the new faces and remodeled homes - but there are some downsides. People call, sometimes multiple times a day, to buy his home; but he does not want to sell. That’s one reason he is grateful to NeighborLink.

“A lot of people who are disabled feel thrown away because their families don’t want the burden, healthy people don’t want the burden,” Leonard said. “But knowing that there are people who want to help and are willing to be there is amazing.”

There are a lot of things that Leonard has to worry about, but through NeighborLink he has received some vital home maintenance that will make his journey that much easier. That is a victory worth celebrating.

Leonard ended our conversation with this final piece of advice:

“Things that happen to people, mishaps and whatever, don't discriminate based on age. It can happen to anyone. I never thought I would be in this situation, but now I’m partially paralyzed. Be careful and don’t take things for granted.”

NeighborLink helps homeowners stay in their dream homes. You can be a part of that by volunteering, donating, or sharing this post. Don’t take your time for granted, get involved and make a difference.

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