Meet the Community: Cathy Marion
This is the first post in an ongoing series where we highlight the neighbors, residents, and organizations who make up the community where Northside works. Keep reading to meet Cathy Marion, a longtime Northside resident and first time homebuyer!
First of all, tell me a little bit about yourself. Who are you? What do you do?
I’m a cook. Well a chef. I’ve been in this business for 31 years now.
Right now I work for a childcare center. Ten years I was in the hospitals. Five years at [St. Louis Children’s Hospital], five at Cardinal Glennon. Then I went into the school system. Assistant chef at Meramec College, and Sous Chef at Fontbonne University. Now I’m in the childcare center which is much more laid back because at my age I don’t want to work hard like that anymore. And cooking also is a hobby for me. Relieves stress.
How long have you been living in the Ville? Did you grow up here or did you move here?
I grew up in St. Louis, MO. But in the Ville neighborhood, for 6 years with Fox Grove on Dick Gregory – so 6 years. I was the first tenant in Dick Gregory apartments.
How does it feel to go from being a renter to becoming a homeowner?
It’s amazing, just amazing. I liked the Ville apartment I was living in. But I also wanted to own my own home. When I received that letter on my door I said hey, I’mma give this a shot. I remember the first time I met with [Deborah Williams] and [Ruby Clay] and they had a list of these rehabs they were working on and new homes. I had a little fear in me due to my credit you know, I had a few things on my credit but I went to visit with [Debra Williams] and she was such an excellent credit coach. She walked me all the way through this smooth sailing. And once I did what she wanted me to do, what she asked me to do, what I should have done, you know, everything was smooth sailing. Just getting my credit report clean.
I’m desperate for that house over on Greer. I know what I wanted from the first day I went to see it. I watched the rehab I think I drove by here every week, at least once a week. I watched the whole process and it was so amazing. I even had a picture of before.
What was something that was really challenging or interesting that you didn’t expect?
The loan officer – all the paperwork, OMG. He was very persistent. This is what I want and I need it ASAP. Everything he wanted was in 24 hours. Got kind of stressful at one time. So pushy and demanding at first. But it was well worth it. Very challenging. Technology saved me (talking about smart phones).
I can’t imagine doing all of that without smartphones.
But they were so sweet about it. No meanness. No grouchiness. Real pleasant.
What advice would you have for someone who’s thinking of buying a home?
Just step out on faith. If you have fear like I have fear in the beginning – but I’m gonna go on and trust these people. Just step out on faith and go for what you want. Just go for it.
What made you want to stay in the Ville when buying your home?
I was born and raised in north city. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be. It doesn’t matter where I live. It’s all about how you make your life.
I love this view. I just sit here and just think. I like the view. I love it.
What do you like most about the Ville? What keeps you here?
My family. Most of my family is here. I take care of my sister. Her daycare – St. Elizabeth I would never take her away from it. It’s five minutes from here. Everything is so convenient for me right here. All the stores. All her medicines, Walgreens is close by. My sisters and brothers are in the vicinity.