One of the oldest houses in Erie is being renovated. Community Shelter Services is running the project with help from local volunteers.
The Cochran House was originally built in 1801 John Cochran, a man who was a continental army soldier during the revolutionary war and who later served three terms as State Commissioner. Its stone wall has been up for over 200 years. And, the tree out front; 300 years old.
Mark Alexa, Executive Director of CSS tells us, “He owned all the way down to the 19th street railroad tracks. So when President Zachary Taylor came to town, this is where they met.”
Now, CSS, with the help of volunteers from GE and even some neighbors, the house is slowly coming back to life. Ella Danylko, Finance Manager at General Electric, tells us, “It’s just a really great way to give back and they’re such a wonderful organization. And, it’s way better than sitting at a desk. Just getting out there and doing something with your hands and at the same time helping people that need it.”
This project is expected to take at least a year to complete but the end goal is to help two families in need for the long run. Wells Fargo donated the home to the CSS and the group plans to turn it into a two-family home for low-income families struggling with homelessness.
Alexa says, “We want that to be their last stop when they come to Community Shelter Services, So, homelessness ends with us. We help people and we do what’s best for them and maybe hold on to them a little bit longer so that when they leave, they have the best success that we can give them.”
Renovations are well underway and the plan is to have families settling in by sometime next year.