Lottery Winner Giving Back with Unique Development Project

The City of Corpus Christi has hit the jackpot, so to speak, as it tries to solve a lack of available and affordable housing; and that's all because of one man named Napolean Elvord.

A few years back, Elvord won a $14 million Wisconsin lottery. Now, he is living in Corpus Christi and hoping to rehab houses in low-income neighborhoods and give young kids a chance to learn a trade.

3News met with Elvord in front of one of the homes he has purchased and is currently renovating. During the interview, however, he never mentioned the fact that he had won big in the lottery while living in Wisconsin.

Needless to say, it was surprise to find out Elvord had won $14 million and wanted to use it to help fix up and resale homes.

The home he is currently renovating is in the 4800 block of Blackjack, near Moody High School. It's the fourth house the millionaire has renovated, and his goal is to turn around and sell the homes for less than $150,000. He hopes to upgrade neighborhoods and hire 16-18 year olds to help him do the work.

After two years, those youngsters will have learned a trade by becoming an apprentice in areas like carpentry and plumbing.

"If the project goes the way I expected, and the City wants to work with us, I want to take all of these homes that are rundown, or people don't want anymore, and start with those as a training technique for these kids to learn from," Elvord said.

"His concept is new to Corpus Christi. People do have a little apprehension, but what the City can do is to encourage infill and redevelopment opportunities," District 2 Councilman Chad Magill said. "I'm certainly involved because I believe in his vision."

Elvord said he was part of a program when he was 16 years old called Operation Fresh Start. It was a similar project to the one he is looking to start up here in town.

Now, he has plenty of other houses to remodel. His next job is a rental home in the 2400 block of Nemec, another perfect opportunity for those 16-18 year olds to learn while getting paid.

Elvord said that as long as parents sign off on the idea, the kids will start off getting paid $9-10 an hour. He came to 3News to publicize his program because he said that schools and other organizations were worried about where all the money was going; but he said this isn't about making money, but giving it back.

If you would like to sign up for his program, you can call 361-548-1001.


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