Multicultural News

Browns DT Sheldon Day kick-starts Indianapolis home-building initiative

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis native and Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Day is putting a plan into play: building homes on Indianapolis’ east side.

Growing up in the community, he’s seen it change over the years. So, he hopes this new initiative helps boost community revitalization.

Plans to build homes in the historic Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood and other Indianapolis communities started as an idea between siblings sitting around a dinner table.

Homeownership disparities have major impacts in minority and low-income communities. Property-tax increases push out longtime residents. As the homes are completed, the hope is that the narrative shifts and the statistics change.

It’s easy to spot empty lots and board-ups around Indianapolis east-side communities. But instead of leaving them as is, Day and his siblings David Day and Yolanda Dawson are trying to change that.

Sheldon said, “I want to pour back into my community because this is where I’m from. So, really, they kind of ignited a fire in me. While I am here, I can make true community impact.”

The Day family and multiple community partners are purchasing empty lots and building homes around the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. So far, 14 homes are under construction with the goal or reaching 65 new homes.

David said, “Once again, this was a sibling opportunity that we did in leveraging my brothers’ experience in his platform, tied in with my ministry, being a pastor at Love Fellowship Ministries.”

Dawson said, “For me as a single parent, the whole thing was having stability for my family and my kids, you know, so they can grow up in a community and feel like friends we meet today, we get to be friends for a lifetime.”

For seven years, Sheldon has applied his skills on the NFL gridiron, but this community is a field of its own. This is where he hopes he and his family can really leave a mark. “Hopefully, we grow this and take over all of Indianapolis, and really say the Day family did this, and we can really leave our legacy.”