Steve and Patricia Harvey, along with their Basset Hound, Daisy Mae, have discovered their own little slice of country life within the city. While living on a large homestead with a peach field, a large garden and a lot of old farm equipment, the Harvey’s decided it was time for a change. “We came to the realization that we needed to downsize,” Steve said. “I knew about NeighborWorks Waco because I work with people with disabilities, and we were partnered. I saw what they did, and that’s one of the things. I got to know them on a personal level before I came to them as a consumer.”
The Harvey’s jumped right in and began by choosing a lot to build on from a list supplied by NeighborWorks. They wanted to be close to downtown and thought they would enjoy living close to the Cameron Park Zoo. After reviewing some options, they found the perfect lot.
The building of the home began, and as the old saying goes: “the rest was history.”
The home features some unique touches that the Harvey’s can exclusively call their own, and they also wanted to keep some of the traditional features of their old home and use them in their new one. The front yard features a large Baylor Bear statue that they want to dress up for football games. The mailbox is an old farmhouse mailbox from their former home. The floors in the home are special ordered tigerwood vinyl. Another architectural feature of the home is a stained glass window that was purchased from a church built in the 1900’s that is featured prominently on the front gable. “The house is so well built and tight that we don’t hear any traffic,” Patricia said.
Each room has a theme, and the Harvey’s have taken their time to make each theme unique. Themes in the home include: a Baylor room where a 1974 vinyl recording of the school song “That Good Ol’ Baylor Line” is proudly displayed; a car room where Steve’s childhood cars and tractors are exhibited; a room with a farm theme; and a sewing room theme.
As for living at home, the Harvey’s love it! Patricia has former students stop by the house frequently just to say hello. “As it turns out,” she smiled, “this is where some of my students can come by and say hey, and we have a lot more time to see them. If they don’t see me for a while, they text me and ask if I’m still around and that’s cool! It really is a great thing.”
The Harvey’s enjoy being next to the zoo, and even comment that they are so close, sometimes they feel like they are at the parties on the pavilion. “When we go outside, it sounds like you’re on a savannah, and you think you’re in Africa.” Patricia said. “You can hear the elephants, the lions, the monkeys. It really is neat.” Steve laughed and then added, “I tease people that I just wanted to move closer to my family – the animals!”
Steve Harvey is a Community Advocate and Resource Specialist at Heart of Central Texas Independent Living in Waco. He works closely with NeighborWorks® Waco through the Waco Housing Coalition.