Louisville Magazine

JUL 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/999164

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Page 104 of 112

chocolatefestlouisville.com 102 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 7.18 real nice place," he says. Across the street is Da'Marrion Fleming's old apartment, the one he got evicted from in March. Draw a line a few blocks to the south, and this area surrounding the Bank Street home is made up of mostly rental homes — 70 percent. e eviction rate is 7 percent, higher than Louis- ville as a whole. And while median property value is low, about $32,000, median rent is not — $815. "Sheriff's office!" Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. A man on the moving crew jostles keys and opens the door. No one is here, but the home reveals a history. A copy of the book A Purpose Driven Life remains. Mouse drop- pings dot furniture. Drawers contain two pacifiers, some pre-school flash cards and a birthday candle for a five-year-old. An open closet holds My Little Pony wrapping paper. As a drill grinds, changing the front locks, Ongoy slowly shakes his head. "Some people just live beyond their means," he says. At the end of March, Dixon sits in her father-in-law's modest brick house near Churchill Downs. is is home for now. He's in a nursing facility, so she, her husband and three boys — 17, 15 and 12 — moved in. e walls are shaded a fuzzy yellow, stained from years of cigarette smoke. Seven white cats left behind by her father-in-law scramble at her feet. e runt scratches a worn white leather couch. "I'm 34," Dixon says, showing a bandage that covers a trail of staples in her abdomen. "Too young for all these health problems." She says that shortly after her day in eviction court, her appendix burst and a hernia needed mending. "Maybe it's the stress," she says. In a nearby bedroom, the family's brown- and-white Chihuahua yaps and the two oldest boys play video games. Both are sus- pended from school for cursing at a teacher and misbehaving. "Everyone's falling apart," she says, tears in her eyes. She contacted their school to explain that, perhaps, her boys' attitudes may stem from difficult changes at home. Even her 12-year-old seems down. He misses his best friend at the old apartment complex and lately holes himself up. Dixon has filled out apartment applica- tions, but so far no one has contacted her. In addition to her evictions, Dixon and her husband filed for bankruptcy several years ago. One house she'll tour — a cute four-bedroom, one-bath bungalow with almond walls and a cotton-candy-pink bathroom — is $950, plus a $950 deposit. "I'll get the money," she says, undeterred. She says the temp-agency job at the apart- ment complex pays her $14 an hour. Early on Saturday mornings, Dixon canvasses yard sales for designer clothes and video games, selling them at flea markets and on Craigslist. ("Look at these Calvin Kleins!" she'll rejoice one day, pulling up a pant leg to reveal shiny beige pumps. "Five dollars!") Dixon will work as event staff at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend. Still in a wheelchair from her surgery, she'll complete the required train- ing, her husband rolling her around. "Don't worry," she'll tell her supervisors. "I'll be fine by Derby." From six in the morning until eight at night on Oaks and Derby, she will direct folks to security-check lines, hollering through a megaphone. She will pocket a few extra dollars taking pictures for people. "ey were paying me a dollar or two to take their pictures in front of the freakin' Twin Spires," she'll recall with a laugh. "I was almost going to turn in my (event staff) vest and just do that." She'll endure a tomato-red sunburn on her forearms and face on Oaks, with Derby

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